County Offers Clarification on Vision 2 Economic Development
The County Commission announces that it won’t spend any Vision 2 money on any infrastructure improvements for the airport tenants American Airlines, IC Bus and Spirit Aerosystems until it has a contract with the companies guaranteeing jobs and longevity in the facilities.
“No money should be spent on any facilities or equipment if we cannot reach an agreement with one of those tenants at the airport,” said John Smaligo, County Commission Chair.
“If Proposition 1 passes, we would still begin collecting the tax in 2017, and we could begin immediately addressing some of the infrastructure needs for whatever facilities we can come to agreement on,” he said.
“No money would be spent on those facilities with the other entities that we cannot come to an agreement on or whose future is still in doubt,” he said.
The idea is to ensure that the County does not spend money without the assurance that the three companies will keep well-paying jobs at the airport facilities.
If the County cannot reach an agreement on jobs and longevity with any of the tenants, the money allocated for that tenant’s infrastructure improvements would not be spent.
He also said, if a company decides to leave, the County will try to find a new tenant, and would seek to address its infrastructure challenges.
Smaligo said some basic maintenance of those facilities, such as roof and electrical system repair, would still occur.
“Once those main things are taken care of,” he said, “we could end the tax early.”
“If we don’t have a tenant down the line at whatever point that we have all of the other repairs paid for,” he said, “I think that we should end the tax early.”