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Caddo Parish Commissioners Consider $10 Million Loan to Elio - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

Caddo Parish Commissioners Consider $10 Million Loan to Elio

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SHREVEPORT, La -

It's been a bumpy ride to Shreveport for start up company Elio Motors, since they announced in January they would start making their three wheeled vehicle in the former GM plant. In May, it was revealed that the company may not have enough capital from private investors to get things going, so they requested a $15 million dollar investment from the Caddo Commission, a request that was eventually denied. And in the same month, another road block for Elio, as it was discovered that motorists would be required to wear a helmet while driving the three wheeled vehicle. A bill was passed in by the Louisiana legislature resolving that issue, and it now it seems some Caddo Commissioners may be revisiting the option of investing in the company.

A few commissioners are saying, How could we not help Elio open their doors and bring those jobs to our area? That's why a few members want the Caddo Parish Commission to rethink loaning $10 million tax dollars to help get the start up company off the ground. John Escude is a Caddo Parish Commissioner. He says he's behind the move to loan Elio Motors $10 million dollars as start up capital because not only will it bring 1,500 jobs to the area, he also said, It's a good investment. "In a time when we need high paying jobs, it's in our best interest to at least consider helping them if there's a reasonable and prudent way to do it. Whatever the parish does, we will have full collateral and security on whatever assistance we choose to make them. And the latter part of that is that we expect to get all of that consideration returned to us, so we're not giving them anything."

Randy Lucky is the Assistant Caddo Parish Administrator. He said if this is a move the commission wants to make then the administration must follow through, if they can manage to do it at all, legally. Lucky said, "A lot of thought process is going into this on how we need to go about this and if we can even make this happen. There's a whole lot of things that have to take place before anything like that can happen."

District 12 Commissioner Ken Epperson is introducing the legislation supporting the loan. He says Elio Motors will have to make the investment worthwhile with collateral. "This 10 million dollar loan will be guaranteed by collateral of 10 million or more until paid in full. That means any buildings, any assets, any land, any un leased mineral rights will be in the hands of the Caddo Parish Commission and the citizens will have a safe investment."

This idea is just a recommendation from the Caddo Parish Economic Development Committee. They have to recommend the idea to the full body of commissioners on August 5th and if it's introduced, the Commission will have public hearings on the issue before making a decision on the loan. Commissioners say they will also use a current appraisal of Elio Motors before moving forward with a decision on the $10 million dollar loan.

 

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