Friday, May 09, 2008

County Officials Weighing Options on Alfa Leisure Land Deal

With the news that Alfa Leisure has shut down its operations and is unlikely to construct a new manufacturing plant near Riddle, Douglas County officials are weighing their options on the 34 acres of land the recreational vehicle manufacturer had agreed to buy and another 14 acres on which it held an option.

A $2,000 payment on the $1.02 million purchase contract with the county was due April 28 and has not been paid. Previously, the company made both of its February and March payments, although those were 10 to 15 days late, said Kathleen Johnson, an assistant county attorney.

Those were the first two payments the company made after signing its purchase deal two years ago. Alfa Leisure was not required to begin paying on the contract until certain infrastructure requirements concerning road and wetlands issues were completed in January.

“We may get a payment but we really don’t know at this point. We haven’t heard anything from them,” Johnson said.

Alfa Leisure closed its offices and manufacturing plants in Ontario, Calif., and in nearby Chino on April 30. County officials didn’t learn of the closure until Monday.

The company had planned to construct a 100,000-square-foot building next to Interstate 5 at the South Umpqua Industrial Park and to place its motor homes on display for passing freeway motorists. Johnnie Crean, the company’s owner, said he planned to employ 200 workers within five years of the plant’s opening.
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