INside Politics: More than Pen Air in vote

The Pensacola City Council vote on the forgiveness of the balance ($79,854.64) of a loan made from the City to the Downtown Improvement Board in 2009 for necessary repairs at the Jefferson Street Parking Garage wasn’t just for the benefit of Pen Air Federal Credit Union.

The vote was tied to the new DIB Economic Development Policy statement that offers reduced cost, long-term parking spaces to all employers relocating into the downtown Pensacola area and who own the premises to which they are relocating. Here are a few of the conditions (allove which were given to the Pensacola City Council prior to the April 23 Committee of the Whole meeting)

1. Employer must bring a minimum of 50 new jobs into downtown area immediately upon the relocation and at least 100 new jobs in the aggregrate over a two-year term after relocating
2. Median pay scale must be at least $45,000
3. Must be a single employer and not an aggregate or cooperative of independent employers.
4. If median pay scale or total number of employees falls below minimums, then employer pays for parking based on prevailing rates and a formula.
5. Employer can’t receive any property tax abatements.
6. The incentive isn’t transferable.

The 2011 property tax bill for the Thiesen Building was $43,740.40.

The 2009 loan to the DIB was for concrete repairs, waterproofing, plumbing, electrical and new lighting throughout the garage – Phase 1 $103,339, Phase 2: $55,912 – which included work on the stairwells and new signage. When this loan was made, Sherri Myers and Brian Spencer are the only two people that were not serving on the city council.