Saturday, December 08, 2012

Lehi Roller Mills Not Footloose

Lehi Roller Mills, Inc., owner of the iconic mills at the north end of Utah County featured in the movie Footloose, has filed Chapter 11.  Whether it can accomplish a reorganization or not is a very open question.  It has issues flying at it from all over, a couple of them governmental.  Personally, my Magic 8-Ball sees a conversion to Chapter 7.  And if you're wondering why I don't have a local media link to a story on the bankruptcy filing, it's because there aren't any.  Our glorious local media are too busy writing puff pieces at the direction of the Tourism Board to cover this.

Speaking of glaring omissions, does anyone else notice a total lack of comment by the city?  Lehi frankly doesn't have many historic sites left, and nothing to compare with this, yet no one from the city is even shedding crocodile tears.  What's the deal?  I think rantnraven and Gentler_Reader may be on to something in their comments in the Tribune article I linked to.  The mills are prime development ground, and I've often figured major developers have been drooling over the site but that the Robinsons wouldn't play ball.  Perhaps the Williamsons are willing to play ball, and their notes are the leverage the developers need to boot the Robinsons out.  And if that's so, no one with any sense would be surprised if the developers had already approached the city to grease the skids for the whole process.  So the city is keeping its head down, waiting for applications for a demolition permit and a brand new strip mall, and counting its projected tax revenue.  Provided the developers can lease the new site out without making a bunch of other places in town go dark.  And provided anyone stops in Lehi when they can no longer tell the town is there after the mills have been torn down.

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