UPDATE: City Council approves Amazon incentives
By Gordon Boyd
Eyewitness News Reporter
CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) -- The Chattanooga City Council's "yes" vote, Tuesday night, means the first hurdle is cleared to bring more than 15-hundred permanent jobs to Hamilton and Bradley Counties.
"There's always a song and dance going," says Fred Kiga, Amazon.com Policy Director.
"As site locations go, this one has been pretty fast," according to Trevor Hamilton with the Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce.
Roughly a 90 day wonder. Not only to line up land in Hamilton and Bradley Counties but to get VW to agree to swap acreage in enterprise south.
"Yes, we will seek training money," says Kiga.
And no taxes on real estate or equipment for 11 years. Amazon would pay the school taxes and storm water fees. But the tax savings could top ten million dollars.
"There really isn't anything unusual about this pilot request. It's well within the norm for this number of jobs," says J. Ed Marston with the Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce.
Roughly 12 hundred fifty permanent jobs at Enterprise South, in a 40 million dollar, million square foot fulfillment center, stocked with 51 million worth of property and equipment.
How does Amazon figure average pay of 32 thousand a year or about 15 bucks and hour given: "the majority of the jobs will be warehouse people," says Kiga.
Starting at slightly better than 10 dollars a hour. Amazon's policy director says workers will be eligible for health benefits, overtime, team bonuses and stock.
And during peak season: "We're estimated to hire an additional 2 thousand to 25 hundred additional employees during a 12-14 week period," says Kiga.
If the package comes together, The Tennessee Valley will be home to two of Amazon's larger new generation e-tail centers.
Bradley County would have fewer employees, roughly 250 permanent workers who will be processing larger items.
"The one in Chattanooga is designed for your electronics, your smaller electronics, your books and DVD's," says Kiga.
And also, Chattanooga's Mayor says, why it's critical Hamilton and Bradley Counties push through the incentives package, to be able start grading the Enterprise South site next week to be running in time for next Christmas.
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