QMA loaned portion of funds requested
Shaunna Cooper, asst. to editor
September 3, 2008
Despite some criticism and objection, the Altus Municipal Trust Authority in a special called meeting Tuesday voted 5-3 to
loan $200,000 to Quartz Mountain Aerospace as part of a 90-day temporary loan agreement with the city.
Much to the relief of QMA President/CEO Mark Arciero, the agreement will assist in paying wages and salaries for QMA's more than
140 employees and staff on its next scheduled payday.
The loan was not granted without stipulation, however. Arciero must provide a list of items that will be used as collateral, as well as any documentation stating who has "first dibbs" on said equipment.
City Attorney Catherine Coke said that she believes First State Bank is first in line to receive the collateral equipment from QMA, but the bank is willing to forego its position and take a second to the city.
Another concern raised by the board was whether or not QMA had plans to move the company to its Coffeyville, Kan., location, to which Arciero responded, "Absolutely not..."
Mayor T. L. Gramling expressed his extreme disapproval for QMA moving part of its facility to the Kansas area, "because it took jobs away from Altus citizens and we (the Mayor and City Attorney, Mike Nettles) had no idea you all were doing that until the deal was almost done!" He said.
According to Arciero, both the Altus location and the Coffeyville location are critical components for QMA's survival and success.
QMA entered into an agreement with Coffeyville Industries that began on July 1 of this year.
The contract was expected to provide immediate manufacturing space for the aircraft maker to expand its operations into the state of Kansas and the hiring of staff for start-up at the new facility began immediately.
Arciero and QMA have assured the MTA that funds borrowed from the city will be repaid within the timeframe allotted.
"We are confident that the agreement with Riviere will go through," said Arciero, speaking of a recent investment endorsement between Riviere Jenson Securities, Ltd. of Austin, Texas and QMA.
If the deal is a success, QMA will receive up to a net amount $120,000,000.