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February 22, 2024

IDCEO – Illinois And Local Government In Bed With Chinese Battery Company – Risk Assessment Should Be The Wake Up Call

By Kirk Allen & John Kraft

On November 26, 2023

(ECWd) –

We first covered the Manteno, Illinois collusion with a Chinese Battery Company in this article. During the prior city council meeting the Police Chief said they had never had so many people at a meeting as the one held on October 2, 2023.  Knowing there had to be a lot more to the story we filed several FOIA requests for minutes and agendas, along with any other documents related to the Chinese Gotion EV Battery company.

It turns out the public bodies in Manteno have been working on closing the deal with the Chinese company since at least July of 2023 and possibly sooner considering several signed an Intergovernmental Agreement in August of 2023 that limits the property tax liability to $2,000,000 and abates any such property tax over that limit for 9 taxing districts.   So not only has the state provided funding to the Chinese operation but so to have the local taxing bodies by abaiting future tax revenues clear into 2053.

The Illinois Department of Economic Opportunity received an application from Gotion that we understand was approved on February 3, 2023. Within that application, it makes an assertion that would be false if the records from the Secretary of State are true and accurate.

Gotion Application:

“The company certifies that it is a company in good standing, authorized to do business in Illinois and has no delinquent tax liabilities.”

Illinois Secretary of State Gotion Filing: 

“Qualifying Date – 8/22/2023”

Considering Gotion was not even registered to do business in Illinois until 8/22/2023 it is not possible for them to be in good standing and authorized to do business in Illinois as they claimed in their application that predates 8/22/2023.

We also note that Gotion Inc., managed an LLC named Gotion New Energy LLC that was involuntarily dissolved from doing business in Illinois on 8/11/2023.  The involuntarily dissolved LLC was based out of Michigan where we understand the locals stopped the EV battery plant operation from moving forward.

We recently received a set of minutes from the Manteno Fire Protection District that clearly raise concerns from a public safety standpoint.  Within the minutes there appears to be not only serious concerns being raised by the Fire Chief, but a conflict of information.

In one paragraph of the minutes it states the following:

“We plan on being able to develop a plan to be able to mitigate emergency issues safely & successfully as they arise. Discussions with the facility management have not yet occurred, but hopefully will be in the future. A few (but not all) of the items we would like from facility & state/local officials include:” (emphasis added)

Further down on the last page, a sentence jumped out at us in light of the prior paragraphs that reference no discussions with management have occurred yet and they outlined they plan to be able to develop a plan, which indicates nothing is set in stone at this time.

“This facility will provide numerous engineering & administrative controls to minimize/ mitigation the hazards to manage the risks.”

In light of the fact the Fire Department “would like” certain items from the company and the fact they have not had any discussions with them, we find it confusing as to how they can make such a claim regarding what the facility will provide as it relates to the hazards and risks.

This entire scenario reminds me of my dealings with an oil company years ago in Kansas, IL.  They planned on putting an above-ground gasoline storage facility within my fire district that just happened to be just a couple hundred feet from our fire station and less than 50 feet from residential structures.  While I blew the whistle of concern with such a facility in our community we heard all kinds of assurances from the oil company but never saw any actual pen to paper to support the assurances being verbalized. Fortunately, we were able to educate the Village leaders at the time who established restrictions on such a facility in town.  That facility ended up being built east of town about a mile away and downwind from our community and prevailing winds rather than upwind as it appears the Gotion plant site will be. Placing a known fire hazard in a community that could result in a fire plume of toxic materials blowing right into the community (prevailing winds), is a risk too high in our opinion.

With safety being one of a community’s highest priorities we would hope the zoning board in Manteno understands the concerns being raised by the Fire Chief and do the right thing and restricts the location of such a facility.

 

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