The Daily Hustle: 12/1/10

Sunny outlook for economic incentives?

The Daily Hustle: 12/1/10
Photo courtesy Jeremy Levine Design [CC]

There’s a City Council meeting tomorrow, but it’s not one of the 100-item thumbsuckers we’re used to.

In fact, it’s only two items long.

Council’s holding a special-called meeting to discuss an economic development agreement with SunPower. We’ve got the deets below the fold.

The city is proposing a 10-year contract with Delaware-based SunPower, a company which creates and installs solar technology including cells, panels and entire solar systems.

According to the city's Economic Growth and Redevelopment Services Office, SunPower “is the market share leader in commercial and residential solar installations in the United States and is the third largest solar company world-wide based on 2009 revenues of $1.52 billion.”

The agreement calls for the following:

-  Creation of 450 jobs by the end of 2014, with 115 created by the end of 2011, 125 more by the end of 2012 and 2013 respectively, and the remaining 85 created by the end of 2014.
- Locate a corporate operations center in Austin.
- Invest $7.5 million company investment in leasehold improvements by the end of 2014.
- Invest $2.5 million company investment in business personal property by the end of 2014.
Locate within the Desired Development Zone.
- Work with local minority chambers of commerce to expand pool of diverse candidates in recruitment efforts.
- Abide by a supplier diversity policy.
- Comply with the standards and principles of the City’s M/WBE Program Ordinance in the design and construction of leasehold improvements.
- Comply with all city code regulation, including applicable water quality regulations

In return, the city will pay SunPower $233 for each full-time job – estimated at an average yearly wage of $70,000 – created and held for the duration of the contract. However, yearly payouts are capped at $104,850, with the overall grant capped at $901,710.

At their meeting tomorrow, council will get briefed on the proposal and set a public hearing and vote for the package at their next meeting, Dec. 9. Citizens can leave their own comment on their proposal here through Dec. 5.

What the hell else is happening?

On the city calendar: City Council’s Committee for Emerging Technology and Telecommunications meets in the Boards and Commission Room at City Hall, 301 W. Second, 2:30pm

The Residential Design and Compatibility Commission meets in the Boards and Commission Room at City Hall, 6pm

The Environmental Board meets at 6pm in Council Chambers at City Hall, 6pm.

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