Keystone money enters into the FireFly story in this manner: A number of years, Senator George Shadid secured a $10,000,000 loan from the State of Illinois to help bail-out Keystone who was in financial distress. Terms of the deal were that Keystone would pay the $10 million back to Peoria County to use as the county saw fit.
Keystone did pay this money back and the County lent the same $10 million back to keystone under the following terms: Keystone would make a $1 million principal payment on June 1, 2007. Keystone would refinance $9 million at 7.5% interest over the next seven years with level payments of $838,018.49 twice a year payable June 1 and December 1 through June 1, 2014.
County Administration says Keystone is current on their payments. Now some of this money apparently will be needed to finance the guarantee made to National City Bank because of the FireFly's apparent failure.
On January 14, 2010, the Peoria Chronicle reported that Illinois lawmakers, Smith and Koehler were able to pass tax benefits legislation (Senate Bill 328) even though Keystone didn't qualify for these tax exemptions that have the potential to save Keystone $140,000 a month.
Taxpayer dollars well spent. Apparently, as Keystone is still in business although I understand they must employ over 500 workers full time and gradually work employment up to 1000 by 2013.
I hope they are on track and are able to stay on track through 2014 to meet all their taxpayer funded benefits to the state and county.
More on FireFly upcoming.