Maybe it WAS the money

From the Great Falls Tribune, Sept 30

"They offered $500,000 in cash and we offered $500,000 in loans," Brett Doney, Great Falls Development Authority President said: "We just don't have the resources for cash incentives." John Oliver, a GE Commercial Finance spokesman, said he was not part of the final negotiations and can't say whether or not the cash incentive was the piece that tipped the scales in Billings' favor.
From the Billings Gazette, Oct 12

On Thursday, the Big Sky Economic Development Authority and a sister organization, the Big Sky Economic Development Corp., each agreed to pay $25,000 per year for 10 years to GE. The $500,000 in financial incentives played a big role in landing the GE operations center in Billings, said Joe McClure, executive director of Big Sky EDA. Big Sky EDA is financed primarily through a county wide tax levy. Big Sky EDC is financed primarily through contributions from private businesses.

"This is one of the items that set us apart when GE was looking at where to locate," McClure said. McClure said there were no strings attached on how GE can spend the money. He said offering financial incentives is part of the cost of job recruitment. McClure had no idea what other Montana communities had offered as incentives, but the Billings package was described as "convincing" by GE officials.

Show me some honesty. The city of Great Falls clearly has the financial resources for this level of cash incentive. The city committed 1.4 million dollars for the coal plant speculative investment. There now appears to be the equivalent of one or two full time employees working on this fiasco. Eliminating these positions would likely save $50,000 yearly.

We have resources, we lack leadership.


Anonymous said...

OR maybe it was Great Falls leadership calling technology that by the way is a cornerstone of GE Ecomagination not viable. I refer to IGCC and Wind Power. Nope, our know-it-all technical experts believe the French and their 80 year old firebox is the way to go.

GE would have a very hard time turning down a city buying into their clean energy technology, $500K cash offer or not.

You all know the city needs every spare dime to float that little utility anyway.


ZenPanda said...

it seems a waste of our human resources here. Get knowledgeable leadership and we may not be the "ugly step-sister" anymore.

Hawkeye said...

"OR maybe it was Great Falls leadership calling technology that by the way is a cornerstone of GE Ecomagination not viable."

Here's the link to that "link".

Anonymous said...

"When there is no vision, the people perish." Solomon...

Our city needs a new 'Vision' effort like we had in 1990...why haven't our 'experienced' commission taken action to do that?

Anonymous said...

Maybe it was the "Money"??

It's always about the money.
Anyone with any good business sense knows that.

Throw a little money around, and you can buy any new business relocation to Great Falls that you want.

big sky husker said...

And as long as we have "spin doctors" claiming to be economic development advisors... Great Falls is always going to lose to Billings or Missoula or Bozeman or Helena.

Anonymous said...

I'm with you, Husker. Kramer knew what he was doing. Brett Doney is a lot of talk.

Just like the Commish...no vision.

Anonymous said...

More lack of oversight and effective measurement. GFDA is a loose cannon.

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