Failed Sugar Mill Cost Taxpayers $71 Million
A failed sugar syrup mill in Lacassine has cost taxpayers in Louisiana $71 million.
The latest audit by legislative auditor Daryl Purpera's office looked into the cost of building, leasing and then selling of the mill in southwest Louisiana and found that taxpayers ended up losing millions in the venture.
Auditors report that the state of Louisiana spent $76.7 million dollars on the project, but then only made $5.7 million when it was sold in October.
The Jefferson Davis Parish mill was completed in 2006, but it was a failure. The building of the mill was pushed by former Agriculture Commissioner Bob Odom as a way to help Louisiana's sugar industry, but it was a project that taxpayers footed the bill for.
The mill was built for a group of cane farmers, but it never do make a profit as it went way over budget, and the facility ended up being idle for years before it was sold.