Moberly and Mamtek hearings begin

The City of Moberly is explaining how it got on the hook for $39 million in bonds for a failed proposal for an artificial-sweetener factory.

By Peter Terpstra

The Interim House Committee on Government Oversight held the first of two hearings today between the City of Moberly and the company Mamtek. Moberly looks to show it provided “due diligence” in approving the bonds needed to build the company’s factory.

In September, Mamtek informed Moberly it would not be able to fulfill its obligations for the factory. The city has so far refused to pay bondholders back to avoid having to tax Moberly residents.

Committee Member Sheila Solon said some paperwork submitted by Mamtek should have raised red flags. She said Mamtek stated on its building application that many drink companies in the area cannot meet their needs for artificial sugar.

“There actually are Pepsi and Coke products out, not to mention crystal light, which contain Splenda so that’s an untrue statement and that is the reason why they’re building the plant.”

The company was expected to create 600 jobs over five years. Committee Member Jay Barnes said the government needs to rethink how they use tax credits.

“There’s a lot of debate on in the general assembly about how they use tax credits in general. I think that tomorrow, I am willing as a chairman of the board to make a statement to director Kerr tomorrow that they need to stop what they’re doing right now.”

Moberly representatives encourage residents to attend the hearings. There will be another hearing Wednesday in the Capitol Building in Jefferson City.