“Project Flavor” Initial Incentive Package Approved by I.D.A.

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The Dade County Industrial Development Authority met Monday, June 24th for their scheduled monthly meeting. The meeting was led by Chairman Peter Cervelli.

The IDA’s Board of Directors approved the initial incentive package, including an attractive “PILOT”, which has been an ongoing discussion for the past several months. Dubbed “Project Flavor,” an incentive package intended to entice a manufacturing company to establish a facility in Trenton’s industrial park. The IDA and those involved with providing incentives for the company are under a non-disclosure agreement and cannot provide information as to the identity of the company. This is typically done to protect the company from having competitors tamper with anything that would halt or slow the movement to the area. In this article, “the company” refers to a food-related business that is known only as “Project Flavor.”

William Back was asked about the “PILOT” section of the approved incentive package. He elaborated that PILOT stands for “Payment in Lieu of Taxes.” Essentially, the IDA will temporarily take ownership of some of the company’s land or equipment in order to lower the property taxes paid by the company. In return, the company promises to invest substantially in the community. According to this agreement, if Trenton is chosen as the site of the yet-to-be-announced company, it promises to invest approximately $68 Million into the community and create over 95 jobs over its first 3 year period. These jobs would come with an average starting pay of $19/hour; an extremely competitive wage for the average Dade County citizen.

In addition, Director Back said: “The remaining parts of the IDA’s incentive package are (1) free land [19.5 acres, of which about 14 are usable for construction], and (2) coordination with the Company about the establishment of industrial park covenants applicable to their 19.5 acres.  In addition, the Water & Sewer Authority has approved an incentive for the level of water usage the Company proposes to use; and the City has promised informally to expedite and reduce the cost of permitting.  The City, the Company, and the Environmental Protection Division have been in talks to ensure that we have adequate sewer capacity to accommodate a project of this scale.”

While a large corporation not paying taxes sounds like a net loss for the county, Back assures that the continued support of the community by the company is a much more lucrative venture for the city of Trenton; especially since the alternative would be an empty parcel of land. This process is used regularly by Industrial Development Authorities throughout the state to entice companies to bring jobs to the communities. One such recent example, locally, was the building of Vanguard Trailer.

by Orey Yates