The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

By Roger Nichols
For The Sentinel 

Auscrete presents case to city

 

Roger Nichols

Making a Case: John Apovieri of Auscrete speaks at the Goldendale city council meeting July 3.

The Goldendale City Council Monday July 3, with a few items of routine business, but one central topic that absorbed most of the time. That was a proposal by a company called Auscrete to purchase two lots totalling five acres of the Goldendale Industrial Park for $100,000 cash, with an option within a year to buy a second pair of lots for $125,000.

The company plans to manufacture concrete construction panels using a proprietary process that introduces air bubbles and insulation into the concrete. The process was developed in Australia, thus the name Auscrete.

Principal stockholder in the publicly-traded company is John Sprovieri, though Cliff Jett, the former mayor of Rufus is also an investor. The two were involved in an earlier company with the same name that set up in Rufus in 2005 and had to close its doors during the recession. Sprovieri emphasized the two companies were completely different, though they shared the same name and were owned by the same people.

This company is publicly-traded as a penny stock and in a press release last week said that it planned to employ up to 52 workers with estimated annual sales of $12 to $15 million. Several members of the public expressed skepticism about the company's resources, but council members noted that the company planned to pay cash for the lots and concluded there was no risk to the city in a cash deal and that the company was not asking for any city investment or even any tax breaks.

Councilor Guy Theriault asked how much per year the city was paying to the Community Economic Revitalization Board that created the industrial park and was told by city administrator Larry Bellamy that it amounted to $30,000 per year. The city still owes $160,000, and the two purchases would clear off that debt and free up $30,000 per year for other city priorities.

Councilors voted to authorized staff to bring back a sale agreement that would go before the council in its early August meeting.

In a radio show last week, Goldendale mayor Mike Canon sought to reassure residents who had questioned a decision at last week's Goldendale City Council meeting to go ahead with selling property in the city's industrial park with concern about the firm's financial stability. "We're in the process of getting a contract drawn up, one of the things we feel will make sure that everything goes," he said. "If they're a great success, that's super good. If they have a difficulty, the city is protected from any potential loss."

 

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