A meeting to announce incentives for an incoming aircraft manufacturer in Montrose never happened Wednesday afternoon.
"We cannot provide cash incentives to any outside for-profit organization," said Jesse Smith, Montrose County Manager.
He says the state's constitution bars them from doing that.
The problem? Those cash incentives were promised to EXTRA Aircraft by the Montrose Economic Development Corporation if they decided to come to the Western Slope.
"It's up to EXTRA and MEDC now," J. Smith said. "Since we can't offer those cash incentives, [MEDC] needs to come up with a way to offer them."
But now, that information and a consultant's report are delaying any final agreement between the county and the company. "What the county is trying to do is... to not spend county dollars unless that is absolutely justified," J. Smith added.
And it's leaving hundreds of jobs and an expected jolt to the local economy up in the air.
The consultant's report comes months after both the company and the county moved forward with their plans. And it's forcing residents to call it a serious lapse in judgment.
"You find the people that are responsible for their stupidity and you fire them or else, if you don't have the guts to fire them, then you quit," said Wally Smith, a resident of Montrose.
He spoke to applause from the audience and says commissioners have wasted thousands of taxpayer dollars just on this plan. "It's downright mismanagement of our money."
The county, though, is hoping to look forward. "What we can do is we can rebate personal property taxes- 50 percent for five years. We can definitely provide them land on airport. We can build them a facility and lease it to them," J. Smith listed. "So that's what we have proposed."
The new plan is in accordance with all state laws. County commissioners hope to know in the next few weeks if things will progress at all.
In talking with MEDC a few months ago when the new first broke about the company looking to come to Montrose, they told us it is common practice to promise the moon in the first place. They said, after a tentative agreement is reached, that is when you start to figure out what concessions can really be made and work from there.
County officials are optimistic that EXTRA Aircraft will be in favor of the new plan. "If anything, we believe it helps them out even more," J. Smith said.
We'll continue to follow this story as a decision looms.