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Caddo commission approves purchase of GM plant

Last Modified: Friday, August 23, 2013 2:02 PM

SHREVEPORT (AP) — Caddo Parish's Industrial Development Board is set to become the new owners of the former Shreveport General Motors assembly plant.

The Times reported parish commissioners voted 11-1 Thursday to allocate $7.5 million in parish funds to purchase the facility, land and mineral rights of the 529-acre property. The development board would make the purchase and then lease it to Stuart Lichter's California-based Industrial Realty Group, which would assist startup automaker Elio Motors in setting up operations at the plant.

Commissioner Stephanie Lynch cast the sole opposing vote. She said she is opposed to the deal because she is concerned that the 1,500 jobs Elio Motors has promised will not materialize and IRG has an unfair advantage over local developers to develop the property.

She filed a lawsuit early Thursday seeking to restrain the commission from consummating the transfer of funds — $3.75 million from the oil and gas funds and $3.75 million from reserve trust — before Sept. 1.

Lynch said although the commission has appropriated the money — which she had expected would occur — she filed the suit in the hopes of preventing the deal from being "consummated" before a court hearing could occur to determine the constitutionality and legality of the transaction.

"I feel the law is certainly on the side of the taxpayers, and that is who I'm standing up for," she said.

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