The search for money to build the third phase of the Alabama Robotics Technology Park has turned to the November general election.
State Sen. Arthur Orr, R-Decatur, told the robotics park executive board Monday that the $124.9 million in incentives the state used to lure Airbus to Mobile exhausted the economic incentives fund.
Park officials had hoped money from the fund would pay for the $7 million to $8 million Phase 3, an Integration and Entrepreneurial Center.
"After talking with Gov. (Robert) Bentley, we knew this was a possibility," Orr said. "This was the project (Airbus) we hoped it would fund."
Robotics officials' next hope for funding is a constitutional amendment voters will consider in the Nov. 6 election.
The amendment, if approved, would allow the state to refinance existing bonds at lower interest rates, freeing up more funding. This state currently is not allowed to refinance and take advantage of lower interest rates, Orr said.
Orr said the state has paid $250 million on a $750 million bond. If approved, the state could increase the bond amount back to the original level to fund additional projects like Phase 3 of the robotics center.
Ed Castile, executive director of the Alabama Industrial Development and Training Institute, said he doesn't know where Phase 3 funding will come from if voters reject the bond financing amendment.
"I guess we'll have to figure out what plan B is," Castile said.
Castile, who visited an Airbus plant in Germany during a European economic development trip with Bentley, said the center could get some robotics training business from the new plant