Foreclosure looms for industrial park

Published 12:53 pm Thursday, September 15, 2011

By Fred Guarino
The Lowndes Signal

According to a Fort Deposit city leader, the town’s industrial park is close to being foreclosed on if a financial solution cannot be reached.

Following Monday’s town council meeting, council member Elbert Lee Means said the town has a $500,000 debt to First Citizens Bank for land in the industrial park, but has not been able to come to an agreement with the bank to resolve the matter.

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“Right now we are in a crisis here in Fort Deposit,” Means said.

But William Petrey, CEO of First Citizens Bank, said Wednesday he is in hopes that things will work out.

Means said the town is about to be foreclosed on regarding the industrial park if it doesn’t come up with any solution.

“We are trying pretty hard to work this thing out,” Petrey said. “And we have been [trying to work things out] for over a year.”

While Petrey said he could not comment on details of the situation with the town, he said, “it is not in foreclosure. I hope and pray that it will work out.”

Means’ comments came shortly after the council ended an executive session that discussed a “good name and character” situation involving First Citizens Bank.

The details of an executive meeting are routinely kept secret, but any votes or decisions involving an executive session must be made in public.

There was no such vote or action after Monday’s executive session.

Fort Deposit Mayor Fletcher Fountain, who left the executive session early, said Tuesday he could not comment on what was discussed due to ethics law.

When asked specifically about the possible foreclosure mentioned by Means, he said he could not comment.

The industrial park is located on Alabama 185 — Old Fort Road — and is home to one industry, Sejong.

Sejong, who at one point had an estimated 150 employees, is a supplier to the Hyundai operation in Hope Hull.