Boeing’s $ 425,000 Grant Request Heads to City Council Final Vote | Jax Daily Record | Jacksonville Daily Record


Two city council committees approved Boeing Co.’s request for a city infrastructure grant of $ 425,000 to offset the costs of its hangar expansion for maintenance, repairs and operations at the airport. by Cecil.

The Council’s finance committee voted 7-0 and the rules committee 5-1 on July 19 to approve resolution 2021-0375 authorizing aid for what Boeing estimates at $ 3 million in infrastructure spending over the course of the next three years. These improvements include the installation of storm water drainage; fencing; a new sewer extension; irrigation; and power lines.

Rules Committee chair Brenda Priestly Jackson voted no.

Boeing entered into a 25-year lease on Dec. 17 with the Jacksonville Aviation Authority to expand its operations by 400,000 square feet at Cecil in West Jacksonville.

Under the deal, JAA will build and lease the facility to Boeing, which includes approximately 270,000 square feet of hangar space and more than 100,000 square feet of office and support workshops on 57 acres, according to documents. of the city and a press release from JAA in December. .

According to a June 2 note from the city’s executive director of economic development, Kirk Wendland, the total project stands at $ 116.5 million. Boeing officials told the city the eight-bay hangar will create 334 jobs for an average annual salary of $ 65,000.

The new jobs will be in place by Dec.31, 2026, with a payroll of $ 21.7 million excluding benefits, according to the documents.

Priestly Jackson proposed an amendment, which failed on both committees, to add a goal that at least 20% of hired employees have lived in Duval County for two years.

The amendment would have required Boeing to report on his hiring, but resulted in no penalties for not meeting the target.

His amendment would also allow workers recently graduated from colleges or universities in the region to meet the employment objective.

“Even though this resolution calls for a waiver of public investment policy because it does not contemplate infrastructure subsidies, I believe the public we invest in is our neighbor,” Priestly Jackson said.

Wendland told the Council that Boeing officials would not immediately agree to the contract amendment and were concerned about the logistics of collecting residence data over two years.

There is precedent in other urban development agreements with private companies to collect residency data and, with tax incentives and grants, make residency disposition a requirement rather than a goal.

The change was similar to Priestly Jackson’s amendment to a recent deal bringing data analytics firm Dun & Bradstreet to Jacksonville.

Board member Rory Diamond and others said they appreciated the “spirit” of the amendment, but feared it would add another barrier to hiring employees when there is a labor shortage. ‘work and leads some companies to turn to other cities for their projects.

Council member Aaron Bowman said the residency goal would be “catastrophic for us.”

Finance committee chairman Ron Salem suggested Priestly Jackson work with the Wendland team to add the 20% target as part of the city’s incentive negotiations with private companies.

The whole Council is likely to take a final vote on the subsidy legislation at its July 27 meeting.

The terms of the deal state that Boeing’s private equity investment cannot be less than $ 85 million to be eligible for the city’s incentive.

As the city’s public investment policy does not include an infrastructure subsidy, the legislation therefore derogates from the rules of the policy.

Construction is expected to begin in fall 2021 and operations are expected to begin in January 2024, according to the JAA statement.

Boeing, a Chicago-based international aerospace company, has been operating in Cecil for over 20 years.

A manufacturer of airliners and a space and defense contractor, Boeing provides maintenance, repair, operations, engineering and training services to the United States Department of Defense and others clients.

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