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FOUNDRY FIRM ISN’T MOVING TO SPANISH FORK AFTER ALL

SHARE FOUNDRY FIRM ISN’T MOVING TO SPANISH FORK AFTER ALL

American Metal Foundry, a company that last year announced it would bring 600 jobs and $5 million in tax revenue to Spanish Fork, has checked out and left no forwarding address.

Officials from the state's Department of Community and Economic Development, Utah Valley Economic Development Association and Spanish Fork City say the California-based company has not been heard from since last fall - and it appears that AMF will not be coming to Spanish Fork.AMF originally announced plans to refurbish the Kirby building, north of Spanish Fork off I-15, and manufacture mopeds, adult two-seater tricycles, light-utility tractors and parts for motor homes. On July 20, the City Council approved a $10 million industrial revenue bond to help the company buy and refurbish the building.

But City Administrator David Oyler and a UVEDA spokesman said the firm apparently had difficulty obtaining the financing necessary for the company to move its manufacturing operation to Spanish Fork.

Oyler said that even though Spanish Fork has assumed that AMF has changed its plans, the city never has received any official word from company officials.

"We're just assuming that it is a dead issue," Oyler said. "We haven't had our hopes too high."

Russ Behrmann, director of information for the state's Community and Economic Development Department, said the person who represented AMF last July when the plans to come to Utah were announced apparently was mislead by company officials.

"Representations were made that were probably not as firm as they should have been," Behrmann said.

As a result of a split in the company, AMF has new officials who decided not to come to Utah, he said.

Kurt Green, state director of business and economic development, said there was "some reason for concern" when AMF first announced plans to come to Utah. A background check of AMF by department officials made the agency believe that the company would never end up locating in Utah, he said.

There are reports that AMF has decided to locate its manufacturing plant in Texas, but no one from the state, UVEDA or Spanish Fork has been able to confirm those reports or knows where AMF's offices are. The Deseret News called AMF's last known phone number, and it had been disconnected.

In its original announcement, AMF said it chose Spanish Fork because of cheaper electricity rates, Utah's work force and the fact that the plant was located near a railroad.

Oyler said two other companies are negotiating with the owners of the Kirby building.