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Otter Tail County taxpayers might be stuck with ethanol plant debt

Problems at an ethanol plant in Otter Tail County could mean taxpayers will have to pay back a loan, reports the Fergus Falls Daily Journal.

The plant, run by Otter Tail Ag Enterprises, is facing foreclosure.

Said the paper:

Until the foreclosure process is complete and the county finds out what the terms of any financial deal are, it’s unknown what the foreclosure specifically means to the county, county Auditor Wayne Stein said.

Because the county’s loan to Otter Tail Ag Enterprises is bonded, the county is responsible for repayment of the loan, which was scheduled to be paid off in 2019.

The county loaned $642,000 to Otter Tail Ag Enterprises with payments due annually through 2019, Stein said.The county’s bonds are general obligation bonds, meaning the county can levy the tax on residents to cover the payments.

County commissioners said during their last meeting that they aren’t ready to put the entire amount on the taxpayers. However, a small portion of the 2010 levy is going toward the repayments, according to Stein.

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