Utility Incentives to Support
Economic Development & Job Creation
(a) Utility incentives may be offered to eligible facilities or preferred facilities that qualify as determined by the city’s economic development initiatives and goals. The amount of discount to be offered will be determined using the following table for new value and new employment (table 1) created within a particular CRA or the general corporate limits as appropriate.
|> Minimum New Value||Employment||Eligible||Preferred|
Depending on the schedule for which the business qualifies, a percentage of the water, gas, and electric utility service charges may be abated on an eligible facility or preferred facility as follows:
(b) Not withstanding any provision of this section, the schedule of abatements shall not be interpreted to apply to any commodity, purchase gas adjustment, or energy cost adjustment charges.
(c) Utility incentives shall not apply to any utility services used in the construction, testing, commissioning, or other non-commercial purpose of the eligible or preferred facility. Incentives shall become effective only upon the full commercial operation of the eligible or preferred facility.
(a) Any person, organization, joint venture, partnership, association, or corporation desiring that the city consider providing utility economic development incentives shall be required to comply with the following procedures:
- Applicants shall make written application to the city;
- A complete legal description of the property along with a plat showing the precise location of the project shall be submitted;
- A brief description of the proposed improvements or expansion must be provided along with the project’s estimated cost, the type of business operation proposed, the number and type of jobs created, the expected source of labor to fill such jobs, the projected date of the beginning operation and the expected annual gross revenues of the business;
- Applicants shall submit either a current financial statement, if currently in business, or a prospective financial statement, if a startup business; and
- Applicants shall provide other information as required by the city.
(b) All applications will be reviewed by the mayor, the director of utilities, or their designee for completeness and accuracy and comments will be received from the appropriate city divisions. The application and review comments shall be compiled and a formal recommendation shall be prepared by the director of utilities and approved by the mayor.
Minimum requirements and criteria
(a) The following are the minimum requirements that must be satisfied for any application for utility incentives or any other incentives to be considered:
(1) Employment and development.
(a) Any request for incentives shall be initiated prior to beginning construction of the proposed project(s).
(b) The minimum amount of new employment will be provided as described in this document as follows:
(1) At least thirty-five (35) per cent of the jobs provided will be made available to residents of the city; and
(2) At least sixty-five (65) percent of the jobs provided will either be made available to the residents of the Parish of Rapides or be composed of existing employees that relocate to the Parish of Rapides; and
(3) Compliance with the requirements of local hiring will remain in effect for the entire period that economic development incentives are being offered; and
(c) The applicant must be investing at least the minimum new value as described in this document; and
(d) The proposed project must be in compliance with the city’s master site planning, zoning ordinances, building codes and all other applicable city ordinances.
(2) Offsets and adjustments. The assessed value of any property that is demolished will be subtracted from the value of the property replacing it, for the purpose of calculating the portion eligible for incentives.
(3) A maximum two-year construction period from the date of execution of the cooperative endeavor agreement shall apply.
(b) Nothing herein shall imply or suggest that the City of Alexandria is required to offer incentives to any person, organization, joint venture, partnership, association, or corporation.
(c) The city reserves the right to review and change the qualifying schedules and incentive program at any time except that where a cooperative endeavor agreement has been duly executed, the cooperative endeavor agreement shall supersede.
(d) Nothing contained in this section grants the eligible business any specific right or privilege. As such the city shall not be liable for any lapse, failure, omission, or similar error in the application for or administration of these incentives.
(e) It is the City’s intent, to the extent allowed pursuant to R.S. 44:4, to protect and hold as confidential all records, documents, financial statements, reports, etc. supplied to the city by the contracting party except in such cases where the records, documents, financial statements, reports, etc. are otherwise deemed public records pursuant to R.S. 44:1 et seq.
Sec. 26-102.4. Business retention program
Any existing eligible business currently in business in the city shall be eligible for the economic incentive program subject to the following requirements:
(1) The minimum requirements and criteria as defined in section 26-102.3 shall apply.
(2) All new value and/or new employment criteria as defined in this section shall apply.
(3) For business relocation from a location inside the general corporate limits to a location inside a CRA, eligibility for incentives will be determined using the increased new value at the new location over the value at the previous location and/or increased new employment over the employment at the previous location, whichever is greater.
(4) Expansion or modernization of existing facilities inside a CRA shall be eligible for economic incentives using the new value and/or new employment criteria as defined in this document once per five-year period. However, upon finding that an expansion or modernization project will make a unique or unequaled contribution to the ad valorem tax base, economy, development, redevelopment, or employment opportunities in the city, the city council shall, upon the affirmative recommendation of the mayor, waive the five-year minimum, the terms of which will be determined on a case by case basis.
(5) Existing businesses located in a newly designated CRA may apply for incentives relative to this section providing the business expansion meets the new value and/or new employment above their existing values and employment at the time of the designation.
Sec. 26-102.5. Other incentives
(a) Upon approval of the mayor, projects that meet the minimum utility incentive criteria, and that have a minimum new value of ten million dollars ($10,000,000.00), may also be eligible for the following economic development incentives:
(1) Reduction of plan review fees, building permit fees, inspection fees, sign permits, or other similar administrative costs associated with the initial construction or remodeling of the eligible facility or preferred facility.
(Ord. No. 182-2010, §§ I, II, 6-29-2010)
(a) If at any time during the term of the cooperative endeavor agreement, the applicant fails to meet the minimum new value and the minimum new employment set forth in section 26-102.1, the city shall be entitled to repayment of all incentives granted to the applicant.
(1) If new employment is reduced to less than five (5) jobs, the applicant will be required to repay all utility incentives granted by the city. Furthermore, the cooperative endeavor agreement shall be immediately terminated upon notice or discovery of the applicant’s failure to meet its original employment requirement; or
(2) If new employment is reduced to a number less than that originally contemplated in the cooperative endeavor agreement and such reduced level of new employment still falls within the ranges defined in table 1, the applicant will have its utility incentive reduced to the verified level of new employment. Furthermore, the cooperative endeavor agreement shall be immediately amended upon notice or discovery of the applicant’s failure to meet its original employment requirement.
(b) When repayment of utility incentives is required as prescribed herein, the applicant shall make such payment upon formal demand from the city. The time for repayment shall not exceed ninety (90) days.
(c) When utility incentives are reduced due to a decrease in new employment as described in section (a)(2), the applicant shall be obligated to repay to the city the difference between the incentive amount received and the incentive amount actually due the applicant. The applicant shall make such payment upon formal demand from the city; the time for repayment shall not exceed ninety (90) days.
Cooperative endeavor agreement
(a) The city council shall maintain a standard form cooperative endeavor agreement detailing the terms and conditions of the cooperative endeavor agreements for all applicants. The standard form cooperative endeavor agreement will enumerate the types of incentives available and the conditions applicable to such incentives.
(b) All such cooperative endeavor agreements must, at minimum, be in writing and include:
(1) A description of each of the types of incentives to be provided;
(2) The commencement date of the incentives and the duration of the incentives;
(3) A legal description of the property indicating its location;
(4) Detailed information regarding the type, number, location and cost of planned improvements;
(5) A plan providing access to and inspection of the property and the proposed improvements by city inspectors and officials to ensure that the improvements are made according the requirements and conditions of the agreement;
(6) A provision limiting the uses of the property consistent with the general purpose of encouraging development or redevelopment of the Eligible or Preferred Facility during the period economic development incentive(s) are in effect; and
(7) A method by which the business receiving incentives will certify in writing to the city that the business is in compliance with the cooperative endeavor agreement and provide the city with documentation to substantiate the level of value, including but not necessarily limited to, annual company financial reports, state and/or federal employment reports, and Rapides Parish tax appraisal statements.
(8) A method for the city to recover all waived fees, services charges, and costs which are offset as a result of the agreement if the applicants fails to perform its obligations under the agreement.
(c) The cooperative endeavor agreement shall be non-transferable. Businesses entering into a cooperative endeavor agreement shall be required to disclose to the city, in writing, any transfer of ownership.
(d) By virtue of this section, the mayor is empowered to execute the standard form cooperative endeavor agreement.
Cooperative endeavor agreement means a written agreement defining the terms and conditions of economic development incentives offered to a new or existing business.
Cultural restoration area (CRA) means that area of the City of Alexandria identified as a CRA in a current ordinance; such designation being made by the city council in the manner specified in the Home Rule Charter.
Eligible business means a new or existing business that locates or is currently located within the corporate limits of the City of Alexandria.
Eligible facility means a structure, building, or other place of business that is designed, constructed or remodeled for use solely as a commercial or industrial business purpose and that is located wholly within the corporate limits of the City of Alexandria.
New employment means an increase to the current number of full-time jobs.
New value means the net increase in the value of an eligible facility, including the real estate, improvements and fixtures, together with the machinery and equipment therein. New value does not include inventory.
Preferred facility means a structure, building, or other place of business that is designed, constructed or remodeled for use solely as a commercial or industrial business purpose and that is located wholly within the defined limits of a CRA.
Utility incentive means a discount to that portion of the water, gas or electric service charges to a commercial or industrial customer levied pursuant to the following sections of the City of Alexandria Code of Ordinances:
- Water: Section 26-24;
- Gas: Section 26-62(c);
- Electricity: Section 26-85, Section 26-89, or Section 26-89.1 (as applicable for the character of service required).
(Ord. No. 182-2010, §§ I, II, 6-29-2010)