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IDB Set to Issue Bonds for Olin
by Ashley Murphy

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

After a public hearing last week, the Industrial Development Board has decided to issue Olin Corporation Recovery Zone Facility Bonds in the amount up to $41 million. Doug Berry, Vice President of Economic Development reiterated that no tax dollars of any kind will go into the issuance of these bonds and the local, state and federal governments have no obligation once issued.

In the public hearing, those who turned out to make public statements told the board that Olin has the highest emissions of mercury in the State of Tennessee and their biggest concern was that this be taken care of. Berry and Chamber President Gary Farlow made a clarification to the public comments this morning. It was said that Olin does not emit 1,200 pounds of mercury per year as hearing attendees had stated, but only about 400-500 per year. The 1,200 pounds is what the current permit would allow them to emit over the course of the year.

Board member Tom Wheeler wanted to know, "Who backs up the bonds? If they don't pay, who does?" Tom Tisdale, IDB litigation attorney, said these are "non-recourse bonds for the board. The board has no responsibility. Repayment is from the project itself... If they don't make them, then no one does."

Also on the agenda was a resolution authorizing the IDB to move forward with the distribution center and bringing it to the Bradley County area. After discussion of a few concerns that were brought to the County Commission meeting last night, the IDB approved the resolution.

In addition, a major concern by residents at the commission meeting, was the location. Berry said that another area had been proposed off the industrial highway road for Wacker. This land would have laid behind Walker Valley High School. The access roads were not yet built and the location would have cost too much money to make it accessible and still avoid the congestion of the high school. The Bradley County Commission approved the rezoning of the property from FAR to Industrial Commercial, which allowed for the vote this morning by the IDB.

The IDB has decided to recess the meeting to Thursday, December 21, 2010 at 8 a.m. at the Chamber. This meeting is set just in case another proposal comes forward, however, the meeting may not be needed.