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OCT pipe future in question

OCT pipe future in question

There was a big celebration 18 months ago in Norfolk, to break ground for a new company that promised to bring 300 well-paying manufacturing jobs to northeast Nebraska.

But now that promise and project appear to be in limbo.

This was the scene in April of last year at the groundbreaking for the plant near Northeast Nebraska Community College.

Since then, the Norfolk Daily News reports all earth-moving equipment has been removed and the site is now covered with weeds.

In January of this year, OCT's CEO Charley Havens told the Norfolk City Council the project was delayed while he finalized financing. Norfolk's mayor says he's trying to find out the status of the project, telling Siouxland News in a statement

This is issued jointly, as a statement from Mayor Moenning and Don Wisnieski as chairman of the Norfolk Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors:

"The status of the proposed OCT facility has generated much natural community interest in recent months. During that time, the City of Norfolk has been assured that the property owner is working to secure financing for the project.

"As we've remained hopeful that the project materializes, we've also sought clarity from the property owner on expectations and project timelines. Our city's investment related to this project focused on much-needed infrastructure, helping finance a natural gas pipeline that is now in place and ready to more than double our existing capacity. For years, inadequate access to natural gas hampered area economic development efforts. Now, whether it's OCT, another new industry, or an existing user seeking to expand, we have the natural gas needed to facilitate development and grow good-paying jobs. Knowing more of OCT's status and timeline is necessary for us to know how best to help prepare for new growth, both in areas of industrial site development and infrastructure systems planning. We encourage forthright and open communications from Mr. Havens and the OCT team in coming weeks regarding status and intentions for this project."

"We encourage forthright and open communications from Mr. Havens and the OCT team in coming weeks regarding status and intentions for this project," said Mayor Moenning.

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