The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, 12/16/8

Toyota and state officials are discussing how the automaker might cover any extra costs associated with the delay of the Blue Springs plant, Gov. Haley Barbour said Monday.

Barbour said the state has spent about $200 million on infrastructure needs for the plant and local governments have kicked in about $35 million.

He said it is too early to determine how much – if any – Toyota owes the state for the indefinite delay.

“We’re talking with Toyota … to mitigate those existing costs,” Barbour said during a news conference originally called to discuss housing issues on the Gulf Coast, but where the bulk of the questions concerned Toyota.

“I think a decision will be made in relatively short order,” he said.

Barbour said Toyota officials told him Monday morning during a meeting in his office that the opening of the Blue Springs plant, as well as seven others worldwide, would be delayed indefinitely because of slumping sales.