Energy Tower Costs, City Explains Payout 9/17/13
Cbs 7 news
September 17, 2013
Midland city leaders are trying to straighten out some of the confusion surrounding incentives for the Energy Tower project.
Many worry about how much the city will pay to make it happen.
Today in a special session, Midland City Council voted in favor of a new agreement that will pay developers of the Energy Tower millions to build in the tall city and even the community will benefit.
It has only been a few months since plans to build the Energy Tower at City Center were revealed and council members admit they could have done a better job explaining it to the public.
Today, they attempted to address those concerns.
"The public feels like a big check is being written to energy tower and that is absolutely not true," says Councilman John James.
Eighty percent of revenues from the tower, which include sales tax, hotel-motel tax, and property tax, will be refunded to the developers.
Those refunds however, will be capped at 50 million or 18 years, whichever comes first.
So what does this mean for tax payers?
"If energy tower doesn't happen, we have an unproductive piece of property sitting in the heart of downtown generating no revenue," says James
The good news is the remaining 20 percent of revenue will bring over a million back to the community, plus provide parking and options that will make building a new midland center unnecessary.
Furthermore they're quick to point out that in the end all itís costing the city is maintenance.
"2.7 billion over 10 years is better than zero over ten years," says Councilman Michael Trost.
James says now the project is out of the City Council's hands.
The next step is for the developers to sign leases.