Incentives on the table to draw jobs to Shakopee jobs

  • Article by: DAVID PETERSON , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 26, 2012 - 11:01 AM

The city and county are both eager to persuade a St. Louis firm, with its 500 jobs, to set up in the mothballed ADC building.

Shakopee and Scott County will spend the early part of 2013 working out precisely what they're willing to give up in order to attract 500 new jobs.

The fact that 300 of them would be salaried positions earning an average of $75,000 only adds to the allure. Officials in both government buildings, a few blocks apart, sound eager to make a deal.

"With salaries in this range, do we have to look at it?" asked County Commissioner Joe Wagner. "God yes."

Added County Administrator Gary Shelton, "The impact could be tremendous."

St. Louis-based Emerson, a Fortune 500 company, is considering a 108-acre site in the city: the ADC building, which was abandoned in the midst of construction in 2001 and left three-quarters complete. No one ever used it, and it's currently lender-owned.

A division of Emerson that manufactures measurement instruments would employ teams of engineers as well as around 200 hourly workers making $38,000 on average, plus benefits.

The state has committed to incentives of $2.1 million, according to a background document prepared for the county. Shakopee is pondering incentives of about $900,000.

An analysis suggests, however, that more than $200 million in wages would be paid out for construction and early operation.

Considering the number of workers likely to live in the area, as much as $356,000 in new local tax revenue could be generated each year once the number of jobs hits its expected maximum.

The deal is to be crafted, officials say, so as to ensure those jobs do materialize in the form being promised, if the firm is to get the incentives.

The county is being asked to forgo taxes on the increased value of the property, not to take a hit from what it's getting today, while the school district wouldn't be involved in any tax abatement.

The tax advantages would last for nine years, and their present value would add up to about $600,000, according to an analysis by Springsted Inc.

Shakopee is the only Minnesota location being considered, city officials told county board members during a recent informal workshop, but the company is also looking at a site in Mexico.

All of the details still have to be worked out, officials emphasized, and approved by both city and county elected bodies.

The county might consider offering a cost-free connection to its fiber optic ring, Shelton said, as the company can be expected to move large quantities of data and could save a fortune compared to the fairly small one-time cost to add the link.

Said Commissioner Dave Menden: "That's a good bone to throw. Why not?"

David Peterson • 952-746-3285

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