The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

By Lou Marzeles

Mystery deal said to be cut with city


In a still-unfolding development, the City of Goldendale may have landed a major company into its industrial park that would add 52 jobs. That is, if the deal is for real. And if the company is still solvent in the near future. And if an apparently premature press release from the company wasn’t actually a feint toward another goal.

Last Tuesday the financial news outlet Global Newswire carried a heady story about a Wyoming-based firm named Auscrete Corporation setting up a major outpost in Goldendale. “Auscrete Corporation… has made an eleventh-hour pivotal decision to enhance its future expansion of operations by resolving to establish its flagship facility in the State of Washington,” the release stated. “City of Goldendale Mayor Mike Canon and City Administrator Larry Bellamy had invited Auscrete management to consider Goldendale as an alternative location for their company headquarters. The city sees an opportunity to create up to 52 local jobs that would give a lift to the local economy.”

The press release included a comment from Canon: “The current attitude in Washington is very business friendly,” the mayor was quoted as saying. “We see Auscrete as a major economic asset for Goldendale... Auscrete is spending over $1 million to construct their initial plant here and, once operational, will put $15 million a year through the local economy, which is excellent.”

Reached Monday for comment, Canon told The Sentinel, “You can use the quote, of course. Ultimately, the Auscrete proposal to spend over $1 million to construct their industrial plant must be approved by the city council. The company is interested in our industrial park, and the decision will be that of the city council. The company plans to attend the city council meeting on July 3 to present their proposal.”

On the face of it, this seems to indicate Auscrete has announced a done deal with Goldendale before it even submits its proposal to the city. Its press release continued: “Many benefits are now available to ASCK [Auscrete’s stock Market identifier], including incentives to business at both state and county levels… ASCK offered to acquire a total of 10 acres on the city’s industrial park. ASCK spokesman Lee Odom stated that the company had recently made extensive plans and preparations to commence in Rufus, Oregon, about 16 miles from Goldendale. The company was disappointed by the lack of support from the city and the lack of available incentives for such a facility. Fortunately, the company was able to extricate itself from the already advanced planning without significant cost.”

In 2013 the City of Rufus seized and sold Auscrete assets for back taxes of $5,460.

In a 10K filing in April this year, Auscrete reported losses of $709,117 for 2016, compared to losses of $36,225 for 2015. In that same filing, the company stated, “As of Dec. 31, 2016, we do not have adequate cash to operate our business at the current level for the next 12 months and to achieve our business goals. The success of our business plan beyond the next 12 months is contingent upon us obtaining additional financing. Subsequent to Dec. 31, 2016, we have a formal commitment and have signed the Term Sheet of an offer to fund up to $2 million with Kodiak Capital Group, LLC in the form of an Equity Line Facility with very acceptable terms.”

Meanwhile, back on the Goldendale front, Auscrete’s release stated, “The industrial park in Goldendale is shovel-ready whereas the industrial park in Rufus needed extensive earthworks to get to the stage of starting the building construction. ‘We are very lucky that the timing is right to take advantage of this Goldendale opportunity,’ said Mr. Odom. ‘Rufus only has a population of 250 and no supportive services, whereas Goldendale is a city of considerable infrastructure with a vibrant main street, hospital, all the necessary schools, two great supermarkets and city parks. It is a safe and beautiful city, right on the edge of the Washington Cascades, and is handily situated on major North-South and East-West highways. If we need to import specialized labor from other parts of the country, this is the perfect place to bring up a family.’ ”

Given the company’s troubled history and that it hasn’t even submitted a proposal yet to complete a deal with the City of Goldendale, speculation in stock Market circles has run rampant about the true intention of its press release. The city council will learn more at its next meeting.

—with reporting by Rodger Nichols


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