Lawmaker concerned Explo is behind on rent

CAMP MINDEN, LA (KSLA) - Reports that Explo owes roughly 400,000 dollars in back- rent to Camp Minden has Louisiana State Representative Jeff Thompson worried. He says he doesn't want the tax payer to get stuck with the bill.

Representative Thompson has requested a hearing in Baton Rouge where he'll seek answers as to how Explo was able to accumulate six million pounds of propellant, and why the company chose to store it in a manner that ultimately prompted an investigation by the Louisiana State Police. But Thompson is also keeping an eye on the bottom line.

"I have concerns during the course of this (investigation) we learn they were behind in their rent, whether there are some previous outstanding obligations owed, and the ability of the company going forward to meet its financial obligations," said Thompson.

Thompson is also concerned that the tax payer will be left footing the bill for a lot of expenses associated with the operation of removing the material, the overtime for law enforcement, and out-of-pocket expenses incurred by residents who evacuated.

Thompson has been researching the lease agreement between Explo and Camp Minden and says they owe the tax payers an explanation.

"We're delighted to have the business and the jobs in our community. Doing their job responsibly is great economics for this region, but in a situation where there's a cost associated with doing this job properly, you need to pay those costs, you need to pay the workers at the site doing the clean up, you need to pay for rental of the property," said Thompson.

A hearing into Explo and the six million pounds of propellant stored at Camp Minden will likely take place in Baton Rouge sometime in January.

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