LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Taxing jurisdictions in Angelina County are receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of delinquent tax revenue this month owed by Aspen Power.
The biomass power plant owed a total of $2,086,910.43 in taxes from 2010, 2011 and 2012 and the county received the payment as part of an ongoing lawsuit filed by collection firm Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson LLP, according to a press release from the firm.
The payments go to Angelina County ($346,556.33), Lufkin ISD ($919,231.17) City of Lufkin ($389,327.21) and Angelina College District ($127,595.28).
John Manuel, the partner in the Lufkin office of the firm, explained his firm represents the county in whole, which subcontracts with the city and AC. He said they also represent LISD in whole.
Manuel said the check came from US Bank, the trustee for the bondholders who now have control of the plant after a judge's order in May.
"There are many liens against the plant, but the county is out from under that now," Manuel said. "It means a lot. It's a very large settlement. These were delinquent taxes with penalty and interest and it's going to aide them greatly with their financing and budgeting."
Danny Vines worked six years to power up the first renewable biomass plant in the state. Aspen Power opened in August 2011 and closed in February 2012. During an interview with KTRE after the plant closed for the first time Vines said eight other plants nationwide were facing the same problems of low demand for electricity. During that time the city of Lufkin had invested $250,000 worth of improvements into the project.
"While we are thrilled to resolve this one, there are many other delinquent taxpayers who haven't paid, and we will continue to pursue those just as aggressively as the Aspen delinquency," Manuel said.