Ohio Bioenergy Corporation Owes Over $50K in Taxes, Fees

- by David E. Malloy, December 29, 2014, Herald Dispatch

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"366","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"264","style":"width: 264px; height: 264px; margin: 3px 10px; float: left;","width":"264"}}]]Biomass, a Kentucky-based company that owns the former South Point Ethanol property adjacent to The Point industrial park, will have to pay more than $53,000 in back taxes, penalties and costs by Jan. 27 to maintain the 78-acre parcel.

Lawrence County Prosecuting Attorney Brigham Anderson filed suit earlier this year at the request of County Treasurer Stephen Dale Burcham for back taxes.

The company owns six parcels valued at $827,880 in Perry Township. The back taxes, interest and fees due on the property now is more than $53,000, according to court records.

Biomass announced plans more than a decade ago to use the property to set up a biomass generating plant and produce electricity as part of a multi-million dollar project. No such project has been started. The firm has been delinquent on its taxes on several occasions over the years, only to pay before a lien is filed.

Anderson filed a foreclosure action against Biomass seeking payment of the back taxes that are more than three years overdue. "We've been aggressively pursuing the payment of back taxes for the past two years," Anderson said Monday. His office hired Brenda Neville, a Chesapeake area lawyer, on a part-time basis to work on back taxes cases. "We've collected hundreds of thousands of dollars in back taxes," he said.

The foreclosure action allows the property to be sold if the back taxes aren't paid.

Earlier this month, Lawrence County Common Pleas Judge Charles "Chuck" Cooper signed a judgment of foreclosure against the Biomass Group and South Point Biomass Generation.

The property currently is to be up for sale Jan. 27 at the courthouse.

Bill Dingus, executive director of the Lawrence Economic Development Corporation which is overseeing development of the industrial park, said if Biomass officials don't pay the back taxes, the development corporation would be interested if the 78.12 acre parcel goes up for sale.

The board has a meeting set for 8 a.m. Jan. 27 to discuss the possible purchase, he said.