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Mar 16, 2012 9:19 AM by AP

State plans to foreclose on facility

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - State Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain says he plans to foreclose on a company buying a state-backed cane syrup mill near Lake Charles.

The Advocate reports Lake Charles LLC is late on a $2.9 million mortgage payment to the state and defaulted Thursday on a separate bank loan. Louisiana Green Fuels, which was founded by brothers from Colombia, is the majority owner of Lake Charles LLC.

For state government, millions of dollars are at stake. The state built the mill and still owes $16.2 million in construction costs. The state also guaranteed $6.3 million in bank loans designed to make the mill a success.

The Lacassine mill was built by longtime state Agriculture Commissioner Bob Odom's administration using state dollars and state workers.

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