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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Confidential Project B1062827934

22

September

ST. PETERSBURG -- The City Council unanimously approved granting an unnamed company about 1.5 acres of land on Thursday. In exchange for the $275,000 property, the unnamed company says it will create 283 jobs -- with an average salary of $120,000 -- during the next six years.

The state's Enterprise Florida economic development agency is contributing $600,000 to lure the company. The University of South Florida Research Foundation, where former St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Baker works, is chipping in another $50,000. On Tuesday, Pinellas County commissioners will vote on approving $275,000 in incentives.

The company's name is confidential because it is exempt from state public record laws while it negotiates with state and local officials for incentives. Staff is referring to the effort as “Confidential Project B1062827934.” Huh?

“We don’t want to invoke any false ideas about what the project is or isn’t,” said Dave Goodwin, the city's planning and economic development coordinator. “We’ve had past projects that had an emotional reaction that detracted from the business of the item.”

Goodwin is referring to “Confidential Project Extreme,” a controversial 2008 deal that approved $1.55 million in tax incentives for Jabil Circuit. Goodwin said the city hopes to avoid the public outcry that greeted that project, and hence, “we just use generic numbers, now.”

--Michael Van Sickler, Times Staff Writer

[Last modified: Thursday, September 22, 2011 6:08pm]

    

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