GRAFTON – Taylor County Commissioners David “Rusty” Efaw and Dave Gobel met with their legal advisor, Taylor County Prosecuting Attorney John Bord, and Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Shawn Nines, Monday afternoon concerning the former Fourco Glass property.
Nines reported that a lease agreement was signed between the county commission and Fourco Glass in 1974. The lease agreement in question provided $2 Million to help in the startup of the company. Fourco agreed to pay the money back on a monthly basis, with interest.
From 1974 to 2010 the company paid the interest payments on the loan. In 2010 they started paying on the principal of the loan, which was scheduled to mature in 2028.
Nines reported that in the 1970s, when the lease originated, no lien or deed of trust was included. Nines noted that the deed of trust was purposely not included due to government funding made available at the time, which the company was using to help establish itself. Around 2010 a transaction was made where the property was given to the county, and the county intern gave the property back to company. During this series of transactions, an agreement was made between the county commission and the company in which they would continue to pay on the $2 million loan. At the time of this transaction, the company secured invested funds, which made the commission feel that payment for the property was secured, and thus no lien or deed of trust was sought.
During the July 17, 2012 commission meeting, the commissioners discussed rumors that a third party had purchased the Fourco Glass property. Being concerned with the county’s investment in the property, the commission inquired of its legal council on what should be done.
Nines and Bord advised the commission that since no lien or dead of trust had been secured, that there was no remedy in property, and thus no foreclosure action was available. Both men noted that a law of contract is still in place, and if needed, the county could sue the company for a breach of contract.
After reading the documentation made available during the meeting, the commission was advised to write a letter to the company advising that they were behind on payments. Bord noted that the company is not in breach of contract until formally given a 30 day notice.
Nines interjected that if such would have to go to court, that it would most likely be on the Federal level. He substantiated his conclusion by noting that Fourco Glass offices are now in Georgia, with the trust company to which funds were secured in Virginia. Bord also noted that Fourco Glass is a subsidiary of a Japanese based corporation.
Fourco Glass is currently four months behind in making payments. The $12,000 a month payment, the company is to be making, goes through the county tax office, and is deposited into an account earmarked for the Economic Development Authority (EDA).
No payments have been made since the EDA was abolished earlier this year, and the commission did not discuss what was going to be done with the funds since the EDA no longer exists.
Gobel noted that there was a time in the past the corporation got two months behind on payments, and once notified, caught back up. All parties involved hope that such will be the case again.