Councils OKs date plant agreement
A development agreement with a new date-packing plant was approved unanimously Wednesday by the seven-member Yuma City Council.
The plant will provide 10 permanent, year-round jobs with salary ranges from $19,000 to $75,000, said Peter Erlenbach, the city's assistant director of community development. Erlenbach said Datepac officials provided that information to him in a letter.
The agreement is with Steve Shadle and Jon Jessen of Datepac LLC at 2574 E. 23rd Lane. The plant is the former Tex Styrene property, Erlenbach said.
Shadle and Jessen intend to sink a $3.8 million capital investment into the property, Erlenbach said. He added that the city estimates the site improvements will boost property taxes there about $3,000. But in case it's higher than that, the agreement provides for what basically amounts to a city tax rebate not to exceed $5,000 for five years.
The actual amount of the rebate will depend on how much the taxes increase after improvements to the property, Erlenbach explained.
He added that the minimum employment threshold for economic aid under the city's January 2001 economic development policy is five permanent employees.
Erlenbach said he doesn't know the total number of workers Datepac will employ or how seasonal the work will be.
However, he continued, Datepac will provide at least 50 percent employer-paid health care benefits and does demonstrate the ability to increase the long-term property tax revenue to the city.