Audit: Failed sugar mill cost La. taxpayers $71M
BATON ROUGE - A new audit says the state lost $71 million in taxpayer money on a failed sugar syrup mill in southwest Louisiana.
Legislative Auditor Daryl Purpera's office looked at the building, leasing and selling of the Lacassine mill.
In a report issued Monday, auditors say Louisiana spent $76.7 million on the mill and recouped $5.7 million through its sale in October.
The facility in Jefferson Davis Parish, completed in 2006, was pushed by former Agriculture Commissioner Bob Odom as a way to help Louisiana's sugar industry, but it was a failure from the start.
Built for a group of cane farmers, the mill overshot its budget, never yielded the profit Odom projected and was idle for several years before it was sold for scrap.
Desktop NewsClick to open Continuous News in a sidebar that updates in real-time.
One year after deadly tornadoes struck south Louisiana
Soldier reunites with family and friends at Baton Rouge airport
Teen crash victim remembered with balloon release
After a dozen floods, man moves into flood-free home
INVESTIGATIVE UNIT: State Police back out of investigation into Sheriff Captain