Danville entices Denyo with tax break

December 14, 2004|LIZ MAPLES

Danville will give Denyo, a generator manufacturer, a tax break to entice it to stay here and expand.

There is no indication the expansion will create new jobs.

At their last regular meeting together, city commissioners approved the deal Monday.

Denyo Plant Manager Joey Harris is expected to take the city's offer to his corporation.

The company is considering either a $1 million or $1.6 million expansion. The city has offered to freeze Denyo's tax bills for five years if it expands. For the $1 million project it would have paid the city $7,100 in taxes, and for the $1.6 million project it would have paid $11,000.

Commissioner Terry Crowley said that the incentive was a good answer to recent criticism that the city doesn't do enough for existing businesses. He suggested that the city review its economic incentive policy, and see how the commissioners could encourage more growth of existing businesses.


Tracy Wilson, a local real estate agent, told commissioners they need to create jobs in Danville. She said the sale of $100,000 to $150,000 houses is down from this time last year.

She asked the commissioners to keep jobs at the top of their priority list.

"We need jobs here," she said. "They don't all have to be industrial, but we need jobs."

Commissioner Jamey Gay said he hopes that those kinds of issues can be discussed at an economic development summit.

"Schedule it, I'll be there," Wilson said.

$50,000 from Caterpillar accepted

In a related matter, the commission accepted $50,000 from Caterpillar, as part of a job-creation deal that fell short of its terms. The heavy machinery company failed to create the number of full-time jobs it said it would as part of the terms of a $500,000 economic development bond grant.

In the 2002 agreement, the company said it would build a $37 million facility here and create 101 full-time jobs. It created just 91 jobs.

The state Cabinet for Economic Development bankrolled the grant, and it requires that the city spend the $50,000 on economic development.

Commissioners all agreed to accept the money, but disagreed on how it should be spent.

City Manager Darrell Blenniss will list the suggestions, and the commission will consider the list at a special meeting later this month.

Crowley suggested the money be spent on sewerage or on the parking garage planned behind the Hub building.

Blenniss suggested it be used to pay membership dues to economic development organizations, freeing up money in the general fund.

Commissioner Ryan Owens would like the city to hire a full-time economic developer who would "aggressively recruit" businesses.

Gay thinks it should be spent to create a communitywide marketing approach.

Mayor John W.D. Bowling wants to see it go toward the creation of new jobs.

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