Mohave County supervisors are asked to authorize a $500,000 financial incentive to land a food product distribution facility in the Ft. Mohave area. Illinois-based Dot Foods, Inc. is considering that location and another in southern Nevada as finalists.
The county money from a newly-created economic development fund would be provided to Dot Foods, along with additional, undisclosed incentives from the Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA). What the ACA is offering is not clear and the media contact for the Department did not respond to an inquiry.
Use of significant incentives to land business has been rare in Mohave County. Supervisor Hildy Angius said she approves the investment, provided Dot Foods keeps up its end of the bargain by providing at least 125 jobs with average annual salary above $43,000.
“There’s going to be a lot of people that say this is corporate welfare. I understand but I didn’t make the rules,’’ Angius said. “If we want to grow and run with the big dogs we have to play by their rules.”
Angius said the county incentive would be returned in the form of construction benefits, jobs and tax revenue.
“It looks like a good company. There’s no doubt about that,” said supervisor Buster Johnson. “They’re going to hire a lot of people, but the idea of just giving a company money in my opinion as a bribe, is something I oppose.”
Johnson said providing the hefty incentive to Dot Foods is not fair to all the other businesses that have located here over the years without assistance. And he said use of incentives puts economic development on the bargaining block.
“The next guy coming in is going to want whatever they (Dot Foods) get, plus a little more,” Johnson said a company bringing in 250 jobs, in theory, could ask for $1-million in incentives.
Dot Foods Senior Vice President Jim Tracy will address the board of supervisors when they consider the matter Monday, May 16. He said the company wants to build a distribution center to meet established clients in the southwest who are currently served by Dot Foods centers in Modesto, California and Idaho.
Tracy said the company plans to make a site selection decision within 60 days. He said the construction timetable would likely put the operation into business in the fall of 2017.