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BOS may offer $80K in incentives to ag company

The Yuma County Board of Supervisors is poised to vote next week on whether to offer up to $80,000 in economic incentives to an agriculture-related company considering building a facility in the county.

The firm is not identified, a standard practice when incentive packages are under negotiation, but a staff report said it is considering investing more than $20 million in a facility and equipment within the city of Yuma, creating more than 50 jobs with an average wage above the county’s median of $26,650.

The county’s incentives would pay for anticipated training costs for the employees, and the actual amount would be based on the number of jobs created. The city also has an incentive package on the table, including reimbursement of permit and impact fees, and other inducements.

The staff report didn’t state which fund the up to $80,000 in county incentives would come from.

Because the site under consideration is within a city, the county isn’t in a position to waive fees, reimburse costs or make other development-related deals with a prospective employer. Because most industrial development is happening within the city of Yuma, the county has been finding other ways to contribute to incentive packages.

Last April, the supervisors approved having the county reimburse the city for $30,000 the city had paid to match a $151,000 grant from the Arizona Commerce Authority, which helped pay for infrastructure at the Almark site.

The meeting will be held Wednesday, instead of the usual Monday, due to the observance of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. It will begin at 9 a.m. in the Board of Supervisors auditorium, 198 S. Main St., Yuma. Other items include:

• Approval of the installation of a “HAWK” (High Intensity Activated Crosswalk) pedestrian traffic signal at the intersection of Avenue B and 5th Street.

• Accepting the county engineering division’s Policy and Practice Guideline for Establishing Bicycle Routes, including signage and street markings.

• Consideration, modification and/or approval of the 2018 Yuma County Resident Survey.

• An update and possible board action regarding testing and interim improvements to 197 S. Main St.

• A mid-year status update on this fiscal year’s gravel road and chip seal maintenance programs.

By Blake Herzog, @BlakeHerzog  Yuma Sun