The agriculture department sold the mill the year it was completed to Lake Charles Cane-Lacasinne Mill LLC in an all-financed deal with no cash changing hands. The state still is paying off the construction debt.

Lake Charles Cane is controlled by a Colombian company, Cementos Andinos SA, which also agreed to build an ethanol plant at the site. That plant has not been built, and Lake Charles Cane was officially put in default by the LAFA earlier this year after missing its loan payment to Merrill Lynch, which has a mortgage on the mill as collateral for the loan.

The $7 million in borrowing will be done through the Louisiana Agricultural Finance Authority. The Bond Commission agreed without objection. The Legislature's joint budget committee already had signed off on the arrangement, and Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration supported the plan.

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