By Amanda McBride
The Choctaw Plaindealer
Ackerman Forge makes one payment to the Choctaw County Board of Supervisors after they move forward with filing a lawsuit against them.
In the June 28 meeting, Cully Hudspeth, son of Bubba Hudspeth-owner of POM Ackerman Forge, attended the supervisor meeting asking for a deal.
“I will leave a check for $10,000 today, bring another $10,000 check in July and pay $6,000 a month after that,” said Hudspeth.
This is his plan to pay delinquent payments of $66,846 to Choctaw County for a loan the county received for POM-Ackerman Forge from the Mississippi Development Authority. The principal only balance of the loan is $127,000 plus interest, according to Steve Montgomery, Chancery clerk.
Chris McIntire, board president, told Hudspeth that the county is applying for a CDBG grant on behalf of the Reform Water Association to improve their water for more than 600 users.
“They need relief desperately,” said McIntire. “This outstanding loan will hinder them from getting relief,” he added.
McIntire also told Hudspeth that the board is required by MDA to “pursue payment of this loan to the ends of the earth.” In the June 10 board meeting, the supervisors approved to file suit against Bubba Hudspeth for payment of the loan from MDA.
“Today all I can give you is $10,000, if you accept it. We are out of money,” answered Hudspeth.
“We scrambled around to get an option on it (steel mill). We hope to get it running again but if we need to piece mill it to pay off the debt we will,” added Hudspeth.
McIntire reminded him that a year ago, the county agreed to be second on a loan with Bubba Hudspeth so that they could refinance a loan with Citizen’s Bank. That means that Citizen’s Bank would be paid first, then Choctaw County second on the outstanding loans.
“I understand that but it hasn’t been a year since we seconded again. Ya’ll said in writing that you would make monthly payments and a payment hasn’t been made since,” said McIntire.
Cully Hudspeth asked for leniency in them making the requirement payments stating by mid August they could possibly become current and possibly payoff the loan.
“We can’t,” said District 2 Supervisor Larry McClain.
District 4 Supervisor David Carter added, “This is a big impact for the people of Reform Water and their quality of life.”
McIntire said the grant for Reform WA is due at the end of July and the loan must be current by then or MDA will not look at the grant application.
“I hate we couldn’t make a deal,” said Hudspeth. “I’m trying. I’m willing to pay $10,000 today. You can go to the bank and cash it today to show we are trying.”
McClain suggested for him to leave the payment to show MDA they are trying to become current on the loan.
“Once it’s (loan) caught up, then we can pull it back (lawsuit). If we send it (payment) to MDA at least they will see your trying,” said McClain.
After a discussion with District 5 Supervisor Eric Chambers, Hudspeth decided to leave the payment with the county.
“I’m going to leave $10,000 today to show you I’m trying to do what’s right. The future is bright at the little plant,” said Hudspeth.
The $10,000 makes the August 2012 and September 2012 payments.
The supervisors then approved to acknowledge the letter from Ackerman Forge with no other action taken.
Chambers left the room for the vote because he has an invested interest by making lease payments to Hudspeth Construction to rent the Bellwood building for Chambers Delimbinator.