City Council Approves IBM Plan

8 years 4 weeks 3 hours ago Tuesday, May 25 2010 May 25, 2010 Tuesday, May 25, 2010 10:50:56 AM CDT May 25, 2010 in News

The plan the Columbia City Council voted in Monday night is the same plan introduced at the May 17 meeting, but the council says not all of the documents were ready, requiring Monday's special session.

According to the plan, IBM will rehab the property on LeMone Industrial Boulevard using money given by the state labeled as "economic incentives."

This will turn the building into one worth about $10 million, which the City of Columbia will buy from the current owner for only $3 million, essentially paying off the current loan of the owner.

The city of Columbia will then lease the building to IBM for $1 a year.

The $3 million will be paid over a ten year period at 5.25 percent interest. According to the plan, the city will pay an immediate $500,000 down payment on the loan. Regardless, the Columbia's mayor says it's a gain for the city.

"The impact of 800 jobs from IBM, will also create probably another 650 jobs to support those 800, we've lost 5,000 jobs over the course of this recession," said Mayor McDavid.

The mayor says the expected tax revenue from IBM will be $730,000 a year.

One Columbia resident said she was concerned about the lack of transparency throughout the entire process.

REDI president Mike Brooks said secrecy is the culture of corporate America, and that if details of the project had been released early, IBM may have walked away from Columbia.

"This is the city's business ... creating the kinds of jobs that create wealth in the community, and these jobs will create that wealth in our community," said Brooks.

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