A $200 million deal between a company and a state to develop the first timber frame mill in the United States has come under scrutiny after a preliminary estimate suggested that the project would cost $400 million.
The deal between the state of North Carolina and the North Carolina Timber Board, which is led by state Treasurer Josh Stein, was announced last month.
It is not clear if the final figure was accurate.
Stein did not respond to multiple requests for comment, and it is unclear if the State Treasury Department will publish its estimates for the project.
The agency, which has a $10 million annual budget, has issued multiple public reports and released numerous public statements that have questioned the project’s costs.
The state of Georgia has also been accused of seeking to push the project ahead, despite it not being required to.
In February, a state audit found that the agency had improperly awarded the contract to the company that would build the mill to the same bidder that had bid on the project a year earlier.
This month, the State of Tennessee announced that the company involved in the project had been granted a $1.2 billion federal loan guarantee, the largest of its kind in U.S. history.
The federal loan guarantees are designed to prevent a state from defaulting on its debt and fund the construction of projects it can’t afford to pay for.