Friday, July 19, 2013

Daugaard's Solyndra?

Todays news showed that Northern Beef Packers in Aberdeen is unable to pay its employees.  The industry was able to raise 150 million dollars six months ago (wait, they went through 150 million dollars in six months, wow).  The city, smartly, has no money tied up into the company (except probably road enhancements and water and sewage, but that can be turned over to another company if this fails).  Madville Times' Cory Heidelberger blogged today that the company survived based on EB-5 visas:
Aberdeen attorney Rory King, who represents the Northern Beef Packers limited partnership, says EB-5 has “been the whole financing for the beef plant.”
It turns out that is not the only government money that the company has received.  This time it is South Dakota funds.  Governor Daugaard bragged about the economic expansion going on in South Dakota in 2011 and Northern Beef Packers was one of the bragging points.  

I’m pleased that our mainstream media is paying attention to South Dakota’s economic success stories. Doing so helps spread positive business news, buoying consumer confidence and encouraging further economic growth in our state. 
Editorials from our state’s newspapers recently have discussed the positive impact Northern Beef Packers at Aberdeen will have on South Dakota. While we are enjoying this great news out of Aberdeen, it is a perfect time to showcase some of South Dakota’s other recent economic development success stories. 
 It turns out Daugaard's Administration use of Future Funds included $2,000,000 to Northern Beef Packers.  

Some of the other big winners in 2011 included the following companies:
TM 1 Stop in Spearfish with $825,000
PharmaCline in Sioux Falls with $500,000
Lehman Trikes in Sturgis for $400,000 (went out of business but has reopened with different owners) 
Elutian Technologies Inc. in Spearfish, Winner, Rapid City with $400,000
AKG in Mitchell for $325,000
Vintek Nutrition in Sioux Falls for $150,000
Angus Palm in Watertown for $140,000
Adams Thermal in Canton for $103,500
Trail King in Mitchell for $85,806
Daugaard bragged about increased jobs from Elutian Technologies and Adams Thermal in Canton.

2012 big winners were
Bel Brands in Brookings for 3,400,000
CHR solutions in Mitchell for $500,000
TCF Banks in Sioux Falls for $200,000
Custom Touch Homes in Madison for $175,000 (they were bragged about in the 2011 release)
Angus Palm in Watertown for $109,000 (awards two years in a row)
Brookings Area Development Corp. in Brookings for $100,000 (wonder how much of that went to Bel Brands?)

I am not against the idea of using some funds to help business establish themselves in cities.  I think if they can be clearly vetted and then there should be accountability for the funds given.  Accountability is very important with government funds, at at least that is what I am reminded when it comes Dakota STEP test time.

Daugaard vigorously defends this program.  I hope that we can get some transparency about why these were deserved.

1 comment:

  1. Daugaard called NBP a great success? Hee hee!

    And how does Custom Touch keep getting subsidies? They already have an ongoing million-dollar sales-tax kickback from the city of Madison. The Bakken oil boom is driving their own profits, as North Dakota keeps buying new houses. Why do they need government assistance?