- 2012 - October - 9th -

Incentives, DIA members headline Council agenda

by David Chapman, Staff Writer

The first City Council meeting of the new fiscal year will feature one or two economic incentives deals seeking final approval in addition to confirmation of the nine board members to the Downtown Investment Authority.

Council is scheduled to vote on a $1.19 million incentive package to support Jacksonville Lime LLC, which would construct a lime manufacturing plant with a $36 million investment and create 22 jobs.

The package consists of a $1.136 million Recapture Enhanced Value grant, also known as a REV grant, and a $55,000 Brownfield Redevelopment Bonus program incentive.

The City would pay $11,000 of the bonus, with the state paying the remaining $44,000 and all of the REV grant.

Managers for Jacksonville Lime also are those of Pittsburgh-based Carmeuse North America, which operates under Carmeuse Lime & Stone.

The Talleyrand plant would manufacture and ship lime throughout Florida, Georgia and the Caribbean.

Legislation passed through Council committees last week.

Incentives for Advanced Disposal Services Inc. were also reviewed by three Council committees last week, but action in Finance was deferred. Though not on the agenda, the item still could find its way onto the it.

The company is seeking a $695,000 incentives package to support expansion of its headquarters in Jacksonville and create 85 jobs.

Of the request, $595,000 would come from the Qualified Target Industry Tax Refund program and include a High Impact Sector bonus, with the City contributing $119,000 and the state paying the remaining $476,000.

An additional $100,000 would be a REV grant paid by the City.

The company has headquarters in the Baymeadows area, but economic development and company officials have said Jacksonville is competing with Atlanta, Milwaukee and Charlotte, N.C., for the headquarters and expansion.

The Finance committee hang-up was because of potential hosting fees owed to the City because of non-recycled waste tonnage.

Paul Crawford, City Office of Economic Development acting director, told the Council Recreation and Community Development Committee on Oct. 2 that the recycling issue was regulatory and operations, not management, is what the legislation covers.

Council member John Crescimbeni, who chairs the committee, has called a special 3 p.m. meeting for an update and potential resolution to the issue and, if resolved, the item could be on the full Council agenda.

Council also will confirm the nine-member board of the Downtown Investment Authority, a group selected by Mayor Alvin Brown and Council President Bill Bishop to lead a dedicated effort for Downtown revitalization.

Eight of the nine members — Rob Clements, Melody Bishop, Paul Perez, Tony Allegretti, Jim Bailey, Oliver Barakat, Don Shea and Donald Harris — are on the consent agenda.

The ninth, Kay Harper, is still in the Council process.

After confirmation, members will meet and, as Council outlined during its review of legislation creating the authority, select an executive director to hire and create a Downtown business plan. The plan will come before Council for approval. The executive director hire will not need Council confirmation.

Also on the Council agenda:

• A resolution asking the City’s Office of General Counsel to commence litigation to determine the validity of the Police and Fire Pension Fund’s senior staff voluntary retirement plan.

As the Daily Record reported last week, opinions from General counsel Cindy Laquidara and the fund’s counsel, Robert Klausner, have differed about whether the fund was able to legally be created, resulting in a deadlock.

• A resolution by Council member Matt Schellenberg encouraging Brown to issue a request for proposal to sell JEA, the city’s not-for-profit and community-owned electricity, water and sewer provider. Schellenberg told the Daily Record last week the JEA was not a core function of government; its sale would largely not affect its annual contribution to the City; and its potential sale could be used to solve long-term financial issues.

• A public hearing on Council member Reggie Brown’s ordinance amendment that would provide an annual alternation of party affiliation for Council president. Brown, a Democrat, has said during a meeting regarding Council committee representation such a move would provide better minority representation.

• A resolution honoring Steve Rohan, longtime chief deputy general counsel, upon his retirement. All 19 Council members have signed on for the resolution.



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