A state senate committee has opened an investigation of what has gone wrong with the Mamtek development in Moberly and what the state can do about it. Mamtek had promised 600 jobs in Moberly. But Mamtek has missed its first bond payment and has laid off the 15 employees it did have. The company has turned over its assets to a company that recovers funds for creditors. The city has issued $39-million in bonds. Project organizers say they need millions more. The Securities and Exchange Commission and the Missouri Attorney General are investigating.

Senator Jim Lembke, who heads the governmental accountability committee, says he doesn’t want the investigation to drag on. But he says it will take as long as it takes to determine what has gone wrong and whether the state has adequate safeguards to protect state or local investors.

Columbia Senator Kurt Schaefer, whose district includes Moberly, says he has been told by a municipal bond expert that the Mamtek/Moberly situation Columbia Senator Kurt Schaefer, who represents Moberly, says the problems associated with Mamtek’s failure to start making bond payments is increasing interest costs for other governmental units issuing bonds.

Lembke says the committee does not want to stop a project that can be saved or keep the state from meeting commitments to projects.

Senator Joseph Keaveny has urged the committee to work as rapidly as possible. He says he is concerned about the committee’s work having a chilling effect” on state efforts to attract other economic development projects. Schaefer doesn’t think it will. 

 Listen to the committee meeting 32:02 mp3