WICHITA FALLS, Tx (RNN Texoma) - Newschannel 6 has learned American Fuel Cell and Coated Fabrics, also known as Amfuel, has filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy.
President and CEO Len Annaloro sent this statement to Newschannel 6, "The main reason why we filed was to relieve Amfuel from prior inherited debt. This will place us in a better financial position for our future growth."
Wichita Falls Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Henry Florsheim said he is optimistic the company will reorganize to improve performance.
"They're going to take a step back and figure out what they need to do to make this company successful," Florsheim said.
The company relocated from Arkansas to Wichita Falls, Texas in April 2016 after the city's Economic Development Corporation offered almost $2,000,00 incentives for the move.
So far, the city has paid Amfuel $594,000 of incentives to relocate and $51,000 went to cash-for-jobs. The cash-for-jobs incentive money is not paid off until an employee works at least six months.
The rest of the money went to forgivable loans for equipment which the city of Wichita Falls has collateral damage on. Should something happen to equipment the city helped finance then the city gets paid some or all of the investment.
Florsheim said there has been 'some good' to come out of the relocation.
"During the time Amfuel has been here, the economic impact that they've created in this community from payroll and money they've spent for local companies is close to $7,000,000," Florsheim said.
The goal was for Amfuel to hire 280 employees, at least 100 employees by Dec. 2016, but so far they have only hired around 40 new employees.
"The bulk of the package that was offered to Amfuel was never paid because their performance was not met," Florsheim said.