Friday, February 22, 2019

Group wants to rethink incentives

PENSACOLA, Fla. - Pensacola residents formed a committee that will try to force  a new vote or a city-wide referendum on the agreement to pay $5 million of city sales tax money to fund the $210 million ST Engineering expansion project at the Pensacola International Airport. The group is invoking provision of the city charter that allows for citizens to challenge a vote of the City Council with a city-wide voter referendum if 10 percent of registered city voters agree. The Pensacola City Council voted 4-3 on Feb. 6 to approve an interlocal agreement with Escambia County agreeing to increase the city's funding for the project from $10 million to $15 million. The project will expand ST Engineering's aircraft, maintenance and overhaul campus from one to four hangars and bring in 1,325 jobs on top of the 400 promised for the hangar that opened in 2018. The committee, Citizens Against Corporate Welfare, will have to collect 4,005 verified signatures by mid-April to force a referendum. (Source: Pensacola News Journal, WEAR-TV, 02/22/19)