Claw-backs from Schott Solar should be reinvested in ABQ Economy
November 14, 2012
Albuquerque- Mayor Berry announced his proposal for a $5 million "Economic Development Action Fund” (EDAct) for economic development and job creation at today’s State of the City Address.
The Mayor said, "Because the City had protection for the taxpayers’ interests in the Schott Solar project, we now have an opportunity to make a major investment for our economy and job creation. Our incentive programs contain provisions for penalties a company must pay to the City if the company shuts down. The City has collected more than $5 million from the Schott project due to these safeguards. I believe we should invest these funds for the development of our economic base, to create jobs, and to put people back to work."
The Mayor’s proposal, which will be sent to the City Council for approval targets four key areas:
• An expanded marketing program promoting the Albuquerque area to outside markets, company executives and site selection consultants
• A closing fund to assist significant economic development projects through the Local Economic Development Act
• The Mayor wants to expand the community’s programs for the retention and expansion of existing economic base companies, and the growth and development of technology-based entrepreneurs
• Support for workforce development programs to build the education, skills, and experience needed by current and future employees so we can get our citizens back to work
Mayor Berry proposes an economic development board made up of business/economic development leaders, the Mayor and City Councilors to make decisions on how the $5 million will be invested to create jobs.
The Mayor will continue reaching out to the many community partners who have expressed their desire and support for new expanded economic initiatives, and will be asking them to join in this great community building project.