What Next on Monster Moto?

It appears that Monster Moto, a Ruston, LA based manufacturer of mini-bikes and go carts, will close its Ruston operation completely, and leave empty a 100 thousand ft/sq building that Ruston taxpayers co-signed for.

Amid much fanfare, the building was dedicated by Louisiana Governor Bel Edwards 18 months ago, in March, 2017.

The company began assembling the bikes with a small workforce, with plans to increase production as sales increased.

Those sales never materialized, apparently.

In May of this year, the company ceased assembly operation at the Ruston facility and laid off 30 employees. The Ruston facility was deemed to be a warehouse for parts.

Assembly was outsourced to China, where it had been located prior to the Ruston move.

The story began in late spring of 2015, when Ruston aldermen were presented with a proposal to guarantee the rent on a new building for the company.

At the June 1, 2015 meeting, the council swallowed the deal, cork and all.

The important part is this: $34 thousand/month for 25 years. Presumably, Monster Moto paid some rent since they moved in. So call it $34 thousand/month for 23 1/2 years.

At least Alderman Jim Pearce asked some questions.

At the August, 2015 meeting, some minor wording changes were made to the agreements, which were resubmitted to the council for final approval.

And that’s the history of how the deal developed.

26 Responses to “What Next on Monster Moto?”

  1. Bill Brown Says:

    I’m sad to see this Monster Moto plant leave but was very suspect from the git go ?? Now, how much is the rent on the soon to be empty building that local taxpayers may be asked to pay ?? To whom or what entity will the rent payments go . If a business group got together and invested their money to build the building , did they have a Guaranteed monthly rental return on their money ? The Secretary of States office shows ExcellenceStarted,LLC as a consortium with Mark Graham listed , along with Tyler Storms as agent . Are there other local people that invested , maybe from the Lincoln Parish Economic Development Council ??? I would just like to know, basically who is the big loser in Monster Moto leaving ?? Is it Monster Moto ?? Is the Excellence Started LLC or is the local tax payer ???

    • Anonymous Says:

      Brown, you got it right. Bad deal from the get go…who has the skin in the game NOW??? Walker…City Council…Taxpayers ,aka SUCKERS !!!

  2. Anonymous Says:

    Did anybody ever see a rental check from Monster Moto? Auditors, you might want to check that out….

  3. Anonymous Says:

    The citizens of Ruston are the “Sucker Class”, the money men in Dallas were laughing at Ruston from the start. On top of the lease payments was $1.2 million on infrastructure cost. The financials were never there from the start! Now they’re doing The Alley under the same structure.

  4. Anonymous Says:

    Do we have a corrupt administration working for us or are they just stupid?????

  5. J Says:

    So

    • J Says:

      I was going say that it sounds a lot like the Elio Motor Co. that still hasn’t produced a single vehicle, in the old GM plant, which was purchased by the City of Shreveport..

  6. Anonymous Says:

    When leadership talks out of both sides of their mouth, it is sometimes hard to know which is true. So, the City of Ruston can be likened to Monroe, Shreveport? Where does this progression stop?

    • Anonymous Says:

      It doesn’t stop . Ruston no longer a retirement area. Mayor creating a college party town.

  7. Mr. E Says:

    This is what happens when you live in a state desperate for economic development. The corrupt out there easily prey on that desperation, and our ignorant politicians eagerly become suckered into their scams all to look like they’re doing something for the voters.

    The best thing Louisiana can do for economic development is to enact tort reform like Texas and run the blood sucking lawyers out of the state. The ambulance chasers pounce on any business less with deep pockets the first opportunity they get.

    Recall that Jindal and his Economic Development guy, Stephen Moret wasted a bundle on the chicken plant in Farmerville and another bungle on the old GM Guide plant in Monroe for the V Vehicle scam. Louisiana’s reputation among these con artists is the same as the easy girl in high school who can’t say no.

  8. Q Says:

    Why didn’t anyone else run for council or Mayor?

    • Anonymous Says:

      Because they don’t want to inherit a city full of debt & unfinished projects. Oh and city employees with no morale or unity left.

  9. Q Says:

    Is the Tax Increment District (TID) even valid? Or were the documents fudged?

  10. Anonymous Says:

    Mayor was elected because of all the campaign promises he made and is hungry for power and money (in that order). No regard or appreciation for employees with experience and know-how who through city policies and progressive thinking have helped to keep the city financially sound and looking to the future. Current administration leadership has rushed the approval of projects like Monster Moto in such a way that it was council approved before council or citizens had a chance to figure out what was going on.

    • Anonymous Says:

      You are right about projects rushed through the process. Rarely questions asked at meetings. But aldermen know how to vote with the mayor don’t they?

  11. Anonymous Says:

    Did Monster Moto or ExcellenceStarted, LLC ever pay city for equipment used for infrastructure work and left at the site? Or maybe that was part of the agreement to lure MM to Ruston. Wonder how much the city is out for all that work?

  12. Anonymous Says:

    Today, the Ruston Leader says (and it must be true) that the city may be out the sum of $34,000 per month because MM is leaving:

    “Now the Texas-born company appears headed back to the Lone Star State, leaving the city potentially responsible for picking up the roughly $34,000-a-month rent on the 100,000-square-foot building built especially for Monster Moto if a new tenant isn’t found before the company leaves.”

    Who has MM been paying the rental fees to: City or ExcellenceStarted, LLC?

    • A Says:

      Excellence Started gets the check. The Grahams got a great deal! A “No bid- No risk” investment.

  13. EvelK Says:

    Made in America scam I think: all the parts I suspect were from China, assembled in Ruston, so simple any teen-ager could put one together, then the box gets “Assembled In USA” emblazoned on it even though very little of the actual value was added here. That TV “plant” in South Carolina which President Trump’s tariffs supposedly closed down, turned out to be the same sort of thing.
    Probably MM hoped for a deal with Walmart et al which fell through. Now they will likely come through the Port of Houston in a shipping container, allready assembled.

    • Anon Says:

      EvelK – You’re right. All the orders were due to the “Made in America” scam, but they couldn’t operate a supply chain. All the parts were made in China, and they had to be paid for when put on ships. So it cost them more upfront money plus they would end up not having enough of the right parts to build a bike. Therefore they missed deadlines on orders. Make no mistake the city knew that they were not on solid financial footing to begin with. I was told Walker wanted to “get in the game.” It was a great deal for the building’s owner, not so much the city.

      • Anonymous Says:

        Well boy, Walker did get in the game….had all the paperwork pushed through at record-breaking speed…It was complicated and no one really figured it out until it was a done deal. Too late!

  14. Anonymous Says:

    So, which account will they pay the $34,000 rental fee from? I suspect it will come out of whichever account the mayor wants.No rhyme or reason. No controller who would ask why and new auditors who don’t know enough yet about the accounts to ask why.

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