Algenol leaders to meet with Lee Co. Commission

Posted at 8:26 AM, Nov 23, 2015
and last updated 2015-11-23 08:26:04-05

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Another step towards rebuilding relations between Lee County and the biotech company Algenol is expected to take place at a meeting Monday.  The drama continues after a layoff at the company and the CEO's sudden resignation last month.

The private meeting is focused on rebuilding the relationship between the county and the company.  In the past there have been legal threats and major questions when it comes to the company's compliance.

"I have a pretty clear suspicion there are not 108 jobs there," said Lee County commissioner Cecil Pendergrass last year. Bu t that relationship is now one step closer to repair as Pendergrass plans to meet the new executives of Algenol Monday after calling into question former leader Paul Woods.

The county gave Woods and Algenol a $10 million incentive with the promise the company would hire and maintain more than 100 local employees.  Algenol maintained it did, but Pendergrass wasn't so sure.

Woods resigned last month amid major company layoffs: 45 employees, or 20 percent of it's workforce.  Algenol says it still remains within compliance even after the cuts, but that'll be up to the county to determine.

Other commissioners have met with the new leadership and have expressed hope in moving forward.

"I would have to tell you that the difference in the way that they presented themselves with data is night and day," says commissioner Larry Kiker.

Monday it's Pendergrass' turn.

County leasers say they hope to hear by February or March whether the company will be in complete compliance.