VT Halter loses some federal grant money - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

VT Halter loses some federal grant money

VT Halter employs about 700 people. (Photo source: WLOX) VT Halter employs about 700 people. (Photo source: WLOX)
JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) -

Jackson County supervisors confirmed a decision by the Mississippi Development Authority to withdraw federal grant money from VT Halter Marine in Pascagoula. 

The amount in question is $1.8 million from the total original amount of $22 million in community development block grant money. The decision was based on jobs that were promised but fell short of expectations.

Documents from the MDA show 163 jobs have been created at Halter with the block grant money.  County officials say that's far short of the 400 that were promised, and that's why supervisors voted the way they did.

“Anytime that there is a change in what the company may say they can do, then we need to review and adjust accordingly,” said Supervisor Melton Harris. 

Harris also offered his thoughts about the business climate in the shipbuilding industry.

“I won't say it's the economy is changing. Maybe it's changing more of their plans right now, to see what they can do to maybe even save money,” Harris said. 

There could be reason for optimism though. That’s the opinion of Supervisor Randy Bosarge.

“I think it's something they might be able to come back and get later. I'm not sure about that, but I still think that they can still meet the quotas, hopefully, and be able maybe to come back and get that money,” said Bosarge.

Members of the board of supervisors say while they're disappointed that things haven't worked out quite as well as they wanted to at Halter, it also shows the system works.

“If the requirements aren't met for the jobs put in place that they promised, then they actually do not get the money and the money is pulled back. So, it gives us faith in the system,” Supervisor Troy Ross said. 

Even with this setback, county leaders say the company is moving forward. 

“Even with things seeming kind of bad right now, I think looking down the road that they see more stuff coming, because they're not just walking away from the project. They're actually putting money into the project themselves,” Supervisor Barry Cumbest explained.

Company officials say this development was not surprising, and they plan on continuing with expansion plans and improvements at the shipyard, with the company picking up the tab. That includes $10 million for a new paint and blast facility, even though there's not guarantee of future employment. 

Halter CEO Paul Albert said the downturn in the oil and gas industry has caused much of the problem. He also acknowledges that employment has fallen from a high of 2,000 a few years ago to 700 today.

Copyright 2017 WLOX. All rights reserved.

  • NEWSMore>>

  • Nearly 400 swimmers compete in meet at Biloxi Natatorium

    Nearly 400 swimmers compete in meet at Biloxi Natatorium

    Friday, June 22 2018 11:00 PM EDT2018-06-23 03:00:09 GMT
    Swimmers taking part in a meet in Biloxi. (Photo source: WLOX News)Swimmers taking part in a meet in Biloxi. (Photo source: WLOX News)
    Swimmers taking part in a meet in Biloxi. (Photo source: WLOX News)Swimmers taking part in a meet in Biloxi. (Photo source: WLOX News)

    Nearly 400 swimmers are on the Coast this weekend for the 10th Annual Splashin' the Coast swim meet at the Biloxi Natatorium.

    More >>

    Nearly 400 swimmers are on the Coast this weekend for the 10th Annual Splashin' the Coast swim meet at the Biloxi Natatorium.

    More >>
  • Eyewitness saw plane moments before the crash

    Eyewitness saw plane moments before the crash

    Friday, June 22 2018 10:25 PM EDT2018-06-23 02:25:47 GMT
    Wayne Lascola works at the Diamondhead Marina, and usually, he's checking on boats, but this morning something else got his attention. (Photo source: WLOX)Wayne Lascola works at the Diamondhead Marina, and usually, he's checking on boats, but this morning something else got his attention. (Photo source: WLOX)
    Wayne Lascola works at the Diamondhead Marina, and usually, he's checking on boats, but this morning something else got his attention. (Photo source: WLOX)Wayne Lascola works at the Diamondhead Marina, and usually, he's checking on boats, but this morning something else got his attention. (Photo source: WLOX)

    Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board are expected to arrive on the Coast tomorrow to examine wreckage from that Cessna 172 that crashed this morning just north of the Diamondhead Airport.

    More >>

    Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board are expected to arrive on the Coast tomorrow to examine wreckage from that Cessna 172 that crashed this morning just north of the Diamondhead Airport.

    More >>
  • Car enthusiasts geared up for Scrapin' the Coast

    Car enthusiasts geared up for Scrapin' the Coast

    Friday, June 22 2018 10:08 PM EDT2018-06-23 02:08:47 GMT
    Many of the 2,300 Scrapin' registered car owners spent Friday adding the final polishes before the gates open Saturday morning. (Photo source: WLOX)Many of the 2,300 Scrapin' registered car owners spent Friday adding the final polishes before the gates open Saturday morning. (Photo source: WLOX)
    Many of the 2,300 Scrapin' registered car owners spent Friday adding the final polishes before the gates open Saturday morning. (Photo source: WLOX)Many of the 2,300 Scrapin' registered car owners spent Friday adding the final polishes before the gates open Saturday morning. (Photo source: WLOX)

    The Coast Coliseum serves as the Scrapin' the Coast main event host. Many of the 2,300 Scrapin' registered car owners spent Friday adding the final polishes before the gates open Saturday morning.

    More >>

    The Coast Coliseum serves as the Scrapin' the Coast main event host. Many of the 2,300 Scrapin' registered car owners spent Friday adding the final polishes before the gates open Saturday morning.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly