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The Arkansas Teacher Retirement System’s chief executive said Wednesday that he wants the system to invest $60 million in a proposed steel mill project near Osceola and have a 20 percent equity stake in the project.

$1.1 billion steel mill announcement highlights

Watch excerpts of Gov. Mike Beebe's announcement that a $1.1 billion steel mill will locate in Mississippi County, creating more than 500 jobs. (By Gavin Lesnick)
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The mayor of Osceola, the Mississippi County judge, House Speaker Davy Carter and Arkansas Economic Development Commission leader Grant Tennille talk about a $1.1 billion steel mill slated to come to Osceola.

Officials react to superproject announcement

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Front Section, Pages 1 on 01/31/2013

Print Headline: Retiree fund looks at stake in steel mill

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  • RBBrittain
    January 31, 2013 at 9:28 a.m.

    The legislature needs to be careful in doing its due diligence here. The taxpayers' money & reputation are already at risk in this project thanks to its first-ever use of Amendment 82 "super project" bonds; Teachers Retirement owning 20% of the mill only amplifies the ultimate risk to taxpayers if it fails.
    .
    Full disclosure: I'm retired from the state on disability, but from APERS which has historically been better-managed & better-funded than Teachers. One need only look at the two systems' HQs -- APERS in the old Union Bank Building (the deal that sent Nick Wilson to prison) and Teachers' own "Pink Palace" on Third -- to see how high-profile investments by public pension plans can turn sour. I'm not saying this one will, but IF it does we will ALL pay the price.

  • PenLR
    January 31, 2013 at 9:57 a.m.

    20 to 30% annual return on a long term project sounds pretty ambitious.

  • RaylanGivens
    January 31, 2013 at 10:21 a.m.

    20-30% return on a steel mill? What is he smoking, and can I have some?

  • Gawker
    January 31, 2013 at 11:56 a.m.

    Keep manuvering term limited politicians into Retirement Board and department and agency head positions and expect no politics to be involved in decisions. Really?

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