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County considers incentives tied to 185 new jobs

ScreenShot3ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Bernalillo County is working with three different companies on incentives that could bring 185 new jobs to Albuquerque – mostly in manufacturing.

The County Commission is set on Tuesday to consider approval of the initial steps needed for each of the projects to move forward. Final approval would come in late October.

County Commission Chairwoman Debbie O’Malley described the jobs as entry-level, but good for families.

“These are export, manufacturing jobs,” she said in an interview. “That means money coming into our community.”

The proposals involve New Mexico Food Distributors Inc., a company that grew out of the Little Anita’s chain; Flagship Food Group LLC, which makes the “505” salsas; and a mystery company that hasn’t been revealed but does manufacturing of some kind.

The new jobs would add about $5 million in local payroll, according to the county. Financial “claw backs” will be built into the deals if the companies don’t meet their job goals, county officials said, but the details have not yet been negotiated.

Here’s a closer look at what’s proposed:

♦ New Mexico Food Distributors has asked for a $750,000 grant to finish a new freezer building and racking system. The money comes from the state government, but the county would act as the fiscal agent, reimbursing the company while the work is done.

The project is expected to create 30 jobs within three years, including delivery drivers and warehouse workers. Pay is to be in the $25,000 to $35,000 a year range, with total new payroll totaling more than $750,000.

♦ Flagship Food Group LLC is applying for $10.25 million in industrial revenue bonds to acquire and equip a food manufacturing plant. The company, not the county, would be responsible for repaying the bonds, but the deal provides certain tax breaks.

If approved, Flagship would be moving out-of-state operations into Albuquerque, creating 125 jobs and up to $3.8 million in payroll by May. Salaries are expected to run about $25,000 to $36,000 a year for each job.

The tax breaks would total about $88,000 a year.

♦ A mystery company is applying for $9 million in industrial revenue bonds under the name “Project Essential.” The company wants to keep its name private while it negotiates real-estate deals.

The county described it as an out-of-state manufacturing company that wants to expand its operations. It was recruited by Albuquerque Economic Development, a nonprofit group.

Estimates on the tax breaks and other details aren’t available yet, county officials said.

It would add about 30 jobs, with $750,000 in new salary, or about $25,000 per job.

Mayling Armijo, Bernalillo County’s director of economic development, said all three companies would export goods, bringing wealth into the community from elsewhere.