November 6, 2013 9:39:38 AM
Nathan Gregory - [email protected]
Two companies providing materials to KiOR's Columbus plant will join the renewable fuel manufacturer in paying a fee in lieu of city ad valorem taxes.
Matheson Tri-Gas and Air Products and Chemicals have facilities on KiOR's site that provide hydrogen and nitrogen needed to convert wood chips into fuel. Columbus councilmen approved for the two companies to also pay fees in lieu along with KiOR. The fee-in-lieu period will last 10 years beginning retroactively this past January.
Fees in lieu exempt entities from 66 percent of ad valorem taxes they would normally be due for their investment.
Lowndes County supervisors approved similar in-lieu agreements for the two companies in September 2012.
Council attorney Jeff Turnage, who drafted the revised agreement, said KiOR needed additional assistance from the companies owning the two on-campus plants. The two companies joining KiOR would not be eligible to pay fees in lieu individually per Mississippi code, as they are not providing an investment of at least $100 million, but they are involved in the project with KiOR, which invested $222 million.
The KiOR plant in Columbus began operations last year and made its first fuel shipment in March. In September, the company announced plans to expand on the current facility.
In other business, the board:
■ Approved requests from four fire personnel to attend various conferences and training sessions;
■ Ratified a request from two Columbus Police Department Detectives who traveled to Ruston, La. to interview a witness in a cold case;
■ Appointed Maxine Hall to the civil service commission to fill the remainder of the late Glenn Jefferson's term;
■ Approved tax increment financing requests of $1.25 million and $3.485 million for the University Mall retail project and Moore's Creek Crossing.
Nathan Gregory covers city and county government for The Dispatch.