Madison Co. officials express concern over AppHarvest financial status

Madison Co. officials express concern over AppHarvest financial status
Published: Jun. 7, 2023 at 5:58 PM EDT
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MADISON COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - A Madison County official calls the financial status of the Kentucky-based agro-tech business AppHarvest concerning.

WKYT reported on Tuesday that AppHarvest might lose one of its largest facilities. It’s a greenhouse located outside of Richmond that produces tomatoes.

The issue is a credit lender claims the agro-tech company owes $66 million plus interest and that the company is in default on a loan.

We caught up with Madison County Judge Executive Reagan Taylor to get his thoughts on the situation and the impact it could have on jobs.

“I would say that I am concerned I would think as a leader in the community, we were excited about AppHarvest choosing Madison County when they chose, and so again, we want everybody to be successful,” said Judge Executive Taylor.

Even though the greenhouse sits right outside of city limits, Richmond Mayor Robert Blythe has been keeping a close eye on this situation.

We asked his level of concern.

“About 75% toward the red,” said Mayor Blythe. “Very concerned; moderately to very concerned.”

Mayor Blythe knows if there were any job losses due to what lenders claim is a default on a loan it will have an economic ripple effect on his city.

“Even just talk of that kind of thing does a lot to make folks uneasy in general,” said Mayor Blythe.

Berea Mayor Bruce Fraley says the 15-acre greenhouse facility down the road in Berea has a separate owner.

He doesn’t have the same concern for this facility. In fact, he says they just had a job fair on June 3rd. Mayor Fraley is confident AppHarvest overall will be ok.

“I’m optimistic they’ll weather the storm so to speak,” said Fraley.

We asked AppHarvest for an interview they gave us a statement instead, saying:

“We believe that we are in full compliance with the loan terms. We are working to resolve the issue directly with equilibrium, which we believe is based on their misunderstanding of the facts.”

The company also says operations are going on as normal.

AppHarvest has created 1,000 jobs across its four-farm network.