Northern Beef Packers' bills mount as facility awaits opening
Northern Beef Packers' Aberdeen, S.D., facility has yet to open, but the company's bills from its contractors continue to rise. Brown County records show that contractors have filed liens for more than $1.3 million against the company since the start of the year, reports the Associated Press. About $1.2 million of which has not been paid. Documents show the plant owes more than $10 million from previous years.
David Palmer, Northern Beef Packers CEO and president, said, the plant does not have enough money to pay its bills because it has not sold all of its Tax Incremental Finance (TIF) bonds, and hasn’t secured financing from other sources.
“We have a limited amount of money and we are paying contractors doing work for us now, so we can get the plant open,” Palmer said. “It is a choice we have made. The best way to get all the creditors paid is to get the plant open.”
SBI General and Mechanical, a welding company in Waterbury, Neb., filed a lien against Northern Beef Packers on March 2. Company spokesman Eddie Seneviratne said he was told the plant didn’t have the money and SBI was asked to become investors by buying TIF bonds.
“We did not want TIF bonds,” Seneviratne said. “We wanted payment.”
The 420,000-square foot facility plans to process about 200 cattle a day, eventually ramping up to 1,500 head per day from the Dakotas, Nebraska, Iowa and Minnesota. The plant currently has about 200 employees, but the crew is expected reach 650 at full operation.
Palmer said the plan is to pay lien holders as quickly as possible.
“Until there is enough cash, I am going to have unhappy creditors,” he said.
Source: Associated Press