The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, 1/6/9

While Toyota has suspended indefinitely the opening of a $1.3 billion automotive manufacturing plant in Blue Springs, Gov. Haley Barbour said Monday recent financial pledges by the company demonstrate its long-term commitment to Northeast Mississippi.

Toyota will pay the interest on state and local bonds issued on its behalf and make its first annual payment of $5 million for education in 2010, Barbour said Monday.

The governor said that during talks with the Japanese automaker during the holidays, Toyota agreed to pay, starting in 2010, the interest on state and local bonds issued to help lure the company to Blue Springs.

That payment will be about $10 million to the state in the upcoming year. Randy Kelley, executive director of Three Rivers Planning and Development District, said the company had agreed earlier to pay at least $2.5 million per year to the PUL Alliance for the bonds that Pontotoc, Union and Lee counties issued for Toyota.