Industrial park has new incentive for developers
The city of Madras' industrial park has a new incentive for developers.
The park, which is owned by the city, is now considered a Significant Regional Industrial Site by the state.
Public Works Director Jeff Hurd said that means the city can be reimbursed for improvements it makes for a new business, provided the business will create enough jobs. The money comes from state income tax. So the only cost to the city is staff time.
According to Business Oregon, the program can reimburse up to 100% of site preparation costs. For a business to qualify, it must hire at least 25 people whose average wages are 150% of county or state average, whichever is less.
Hurd said industries would have to sign a ground lease, commit to a number of jobs and pay a certain share of the costs.
"You have to do your part," he said. "Otherwise you're going to be on the hook for it."
The city also seeks grants, as it did for the road in front of the Erickson Aircraft Collection.
He said the park is attractive because it has air and rail access. It's also in the Enterprise Zone, which gives tax exemptions in certain cases.
The city has plenty of sewer and water capacity, although getting rid of wastewater is a challenge. That is the main purpose of the city's golf course, Hurd said.
The park comprises about 2,500 acres. During World War II, the area was owned by the federal government as an air field, among other uses. It was deeded to the county and then to the city. The deeds were written in such a way that the cannot sell the land.
"We're open to all," Hurd said. "We're flexible. We have plenty of ground that's already zoned industrial.
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