Details still being ironed out in EcoAlgae deal

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Executive Director Roy Hunter provided an update on the bio-fuel company, EcoAlgae USA, considering industrial sites in Marshall, at the Tuesday, Aug. 12, Marshall Saline Development Corporation meeting.

Hunter said that despite recent public speculation, the deal is far from completed.

"We're a long way from having any comfort level," he said. "In another 30 days I think we'll have a good idea of whether this thing is going to move forward."

"We're not hiding anything, we just don't know yet."

Hunter did foresee some challenges in coming to an agreement with EcoAlgae.

"What could be a deal breaker for us is land acquisition," he said.

The company is now requesting 1,000 acres more than what they had originally wanted.

Hunter now estimates this project could create 100 jobs in Saline County, significantly higher than the previous estimate of 40.

Hunter also provided the board with an update on entrepreneurial activities.

"We have seen an increase in requests for assistance in business start-ups in our area," he said. "It is my hope that we can create a stronger program to assist these individuals in the near future."

One of the proposals that garnered Hunter's interest was from a California-based solar power company. He hopes to get better organized in the next few months in order to accommodate some of these requests.

Hunter later discussed a possible project involving the Marshall Junction.

"Over the last 30 days we have been working with a development group out of the Kansas City area that has experience and an apparent desire to assist with the Marshall Junction development project."

This project is currently in preliminary discussions.

Hunter also gave a few brief thoughts on the Sweet Springs community development meeting.

"This meeting was a great success," he said. "I think we were able to accomplish a lot and I look forward to a continued effort to bringing the community together on a workable economic development strategy."

Contact Travis Watts at

marshallreporter@socket.net

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