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Jax Daily Record Thursday, Mar. 22, 201212:00 PM EST

State, Bay County try to recoup incentive money

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Less than a year after agreeing to put up $750,000 to attract a health-technology firm, the state and Bay County have gone to court to try to recoup the money.

The lawsuit, filed this month in Leon County Circuit Court, is against Redpine Healthcare Technologies Inc., which received the incentives last summer and promised to create 410 jobs in Bay County.

The lawsuit said the software company gave notice in December that it couldn’t fulfill the contracts.

The state is seeking to recover $400,000 provided through its Quick Action Closing Fund program, while Bay County is seeking $350,000 that came from a local economic-development program.

The Panama City News-Herald has reported that the company closed its Panama City office in December after failing to secure bridge financing following the loss of a key investor.

Documents in the court file indicate that Redpine planned to move its corporate headquarters and operations from Spokane, Wash., to Bay County and also had received incentive offers from Fremont, Neb., and Odessa, Texas.

The documents, which were put together by Enterprise Florida before the incentives were awarded, gave the company the code name “Project Soften.”

In the documents, the company said it was looking to move to a “business friendly” state.

“We have been watching Florida under its new Governor Scott and believe that Florida is becoming more business friendly and will offer a competitive business climate in which to grow,’’ Redpine said.

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