PSJ Commissioners balk on Eastern waiver

Published: Thursday, October 18, 2012 at 10:25 AM.

City manager Jim Anderson said that the impact fees were put in place to allow the city infrastructure improvements with growth.

Had the city been collecting such fees for the past few decades it would not be staring at nearly $20 million in long-term debt, as that brought by the replacement of 20 miles of pipe in the water distribution system.

Barry Sellers, executive director of the Gulf County Chamber of Commerce/Economic Development Council, said such incentives typically are discussed and provided on the front end. He encouraged the city to set a policy, but said in this instance the situation was akin to “putting the horse behind the cart.”

“(Eastern has) been good team players,” Sellers said. “We do want to bring jobs into the city. Many places have incentives and I think we should. (Eastern) should have probably gotten all the incentives in on the front end, but we are trying to get them on the back end.

“In theory, I am not in favor of incentives; in theory. But that is the world we live in. Without them you die.”

Mayor Mel Magidson also noted that other counties and cities provide an array of incentives.

And Woods emphasized that Eastern would be tapping an existing 10-inch line on the mill site, would be using less water and sewer than the paper mill did and that Eastern contractors would be installing the meter, leaving little work for the city to actually perform.

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