Sunday, August 16, 2009

JEDC OKs incentives for Saft America

"The Jacksonville Economic Development Commission has approved a $20.2 million incentive package for Saft America Inc. to build a lithium ion battery plant at Cecil Commerce Center that will employ at least 279."

"The incentive package approved Aug. 13 includes $5.3 million worth of city incentives and $14.9 million worth of state incentives."

"Headquartered in Bagnolet, France, Saft manufactures batteries for military vehicles, aviation, smart grid support, broadband back-up power and renewable energy storage. The company employs about 4,000 worldwide."

"The city’s portion of the incentive package includes a $3.3 million Recaptured Enhanced Value Grant; a total of $1 million from the Countywide Economic Development Fund divided into $700,000 for site development and $300,000 for job creation; $550,000 for a five-year public service tax exemption; and the remaining funds for being a qualified targeted industry, a brownfield bonus and an enterprise zone bonus."

"The city is investing a little more than $19,000 per job, higher than its typical range of between $600 and $12,000, but JEDC Business Development Chief Lindsey Ballas said the additional funding is necessary for this project because of the competition from other cities and because it will help develop Cecil Field."

"Although some of the 279 jobs to be filled by the end of 2016 will be filled by employees transferred from other plants, most will be hired locally, Alcide said. The jobs will have an average annual wage of $44,807 plus a $17,000 benefits package and, company executives said, more jobs will likely be created. Alcide said the company is already actively recruiting in Jacksonville."

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