JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Missouri was in the running to land a new Boeing airplane assembly plant right up until a Machinists vote that clinched the plant for Washington state, according to documents released Monday.
Records provided to The Associated Press under a Sunshine Law request show Boeing officials visited St. Louis on Dec. 28 to check out Missouri’s proposal. A follow-up visit was scheduled for Jan. 4.
But that was canceled after union members in Washington voted Jan. 3 to accept Boeing’s contract proposal. The company then quickly announced that it would assemble the 777X commercial airplane in the Seattle area, its traditional operating base.
Boeing had generated frenzy among states about a month earlier by soliciting proposals for the multibillion-dollar airplane assembly plant after union machinists in Washington state rejected the company’s initial contract offer. Nearly two dozen states submi tted more than 50 proposed locations to Boeing in mid-December. But the company had not released a list of finalists for the project.
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Missouri’s state and local incentive package, totaling more than $3 billion, was aired publicly because Gov. Jay Nixon called a special legislative session to change the state’s business incentive laws to accommodate such a big project. But the governor and economic development officials had said a confidentiality agreement signed with Boeing prevented them from divulging other specific details about Missouri’s bid for the assembly plant.
The AP submitted an open-records request for the documents after Boeing announced it was staying in Washington. The Department of Economic Development was able to release the records because they no longer dealt with an active proposal.
The documents show Missouri submitted three options to Boeing to assemble the wing or full plane at either of two locations near Lambert-St. Louis International Airport.