Firm to abandon facility in FLDS town

The Salt Lake Tribune/September 7, 2006
By Brooke Adams

A high-tech machining company that once operated in a polygamous community at the Utah-Arizona border plans to walk away from its facility, a move aimed at ending a legal dispute over the property.

A new court filing in the United Effort Plan Trust reformation case highlights negotiations between trust caretaker Bruce R. Wisan and Western Precision, which moved to Las Vegas last month. The company is now known as NewEra Manufacturing.

Wisan has overseen the trust, once operated by the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, since May 2005. FLDS church leader Warren S. Jeffs is in jail awaiting legal proceedings on two sex crime charges for arranging an underage marriage.

Wisan alleges in a lawsuit that the trust's former board sold Western Precision its land for a fraction of its real value, to the detriment of the UEP. He also questions whether the building should be considered UEP property.

Now, Western Precision apparently plans to dump the building. The company also told Wisan it has paid off a $900,000 loan, used primarily to buy equipment, that was tied to the land and building.

A final settlement has not yet been reached between the UEP and Western Precision, Wisan said Wednesday.

The report, dated Aug. 31, also states that Wisan plans to begin setting up leases with other businesses operating on trust land; those unwilling to pay rent may be asked to relocate, the document says.

It also shows that expenses for the quarter, from June 1 through Aug. 31, were $324,627.

"I am pleased with the direction the trust seems to be heading, with the changes being made and the opportunities that are beginning to present themselves," Wisan said. "That is all good."

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