Google comments on proposed deal with The Dalles and Wasco County

Darcy Nothnagle of Google sent us the following quote and information below.
“We love being a part of the community in The Dalles – so much so that we’ve invested over a billion dollars here. Our data center here fuels the world wide web, and it’s also fueling the local economy with free public wi-fi, STEM education programs for local schools, and the creation of high-quality jobs. Although there are a lot of factors to work out before making a final decision, we’re excited about exploring the possibility of expanding our operations.”  — Darcy Nothnagle, Head of External Affairs, Western Region.
Nothnagle’s email included this background information. The bolding is hers:
 

Between 2005 and 2015, Google has:

  • Invested $1.2 billion in The Dalles – above and beyond what agreements have called for.

  • Created over 80 full time Google jobs that pay more than 150% of the county’s average wage – this is nearly twice the number of jobs required.  Created over 150 total jobs at the current site – the proposed expansion could add as many as another 50 jobs.

  • Paid more than $3.7 million in fees to the City and County.

  • Been the largest fee payer in Wasco County.

  • Agreed to pay $1.05 million a year to the City and County while previous agreements are in effect. The proposed agreement would bring annual payments from Google to over $2M to the City and County.

Google provides a significant share of government budgets:

  • Google fees to the City currently equal 6% of the City’s General Fund operating costs and 15% of what the City receives in property taxes.

  • With the new agreement, the fees would likely cover as much as 10% of the City’s General Fund operating costs.

  • Google is the largest private contributor to the City’s annual budget and the largest fee payer in Wasco County.

Google fees are used for local services and projects (which are determined by the City and County, not by Google), including:

  • An additional staffed fire station and future training tower for the Mid-Columbia Fire and Rescue.

  • Amenities at the newly constructed community pool.

  • Programs at Columbia Gorge Community College.

Google has awarded more than $1.2 Million in grants to impact Wasco County schools and nonprofits, including

  • Over $300,000 to the North Wasco County School District #21,

  • Over $350,000 for a free WiFi network in The Dalles,

  • Grants to numerous other STEM education and energy efficiency projects and programs, including a grant of $50,000 to the Discovery Center and $20,000 to the Civic.

  • Over $200,000 to robotics programs in the Gorge.

Google’s data centers are some of the most efficient in the world, using 50% less energy than the typical data center. Google is the first major Internet services company to gain external certification of the high environmental, workplace safety, and energy management standards of its data centers.

 

City of The Dalles and Wasco County issue executive summary on proposed Google deal

Proposed Long Term Enterprise Zone Agreement
Executive Summary

Wasco County and the City of The Dalles sponsor an Oregon Enterprise Zone in The Dalles. One of the tools available to an enterprise zone is to enter into a long term (15 year) property tax exemption with businesses that invest in the community and create jobs. The benefiting business also pays enterprise zone fees to the zone sponsors.

Google has previously signed two fifteen year agreements with the Wasco County and the City of The Dalles. The first agreement signed in 2005, is in its ninth year of property tax waivers. The second agreement signed in 2013 will being its fifteen year period in 2016.

Google, who does business in The Dalles as Design, LLC, has requested a third enterprise zone agreement to construct a new development on 23 acres in the Port of The Dalles new Columbia Gorge Industrial Center.

The enterprise zone agreement provides Google with a 15 year tax exemption on any new development on the proposed site. In return, Google must invest a minimum of $200 million and create a minimum of 10 new jobs. Google has indicated that it will exceed both of those numbers, anticipating that the site will employ over 50 employees. In addition, Google is required to pay an enterprise zone fee to the County and City. Because Google does not yet know the exact size of the building the enterprise zone fee is based on a unit cost, with a minimum amount. The minimum initial fee is $1.45 million to be paid to the City and County, with an additional $250,000 to be paid to the Port of The Dalles for the development of additional industrial land. The minimum annual fee that will begin the tax year following the new facility going online will be $1 million.

The initial fee unit cost is 16 cents per cubic foot for industrial buildings. This excludes electrical substations, cooling towers, and the like. As an example if Google built the exact same facility that they just completed on the current site the initial fee would be around $1.7 million plus $250,000 to the Port of The Dalles, this is about a 68% increase over the initial fee for the last building. The annual fee is 11.4 cents per cubic foot, and if the exact same building is built the annual fee will be around $1,200,000, about a 50% increase over the prior fee. The minimum initial fee increase is 42% and the annual minimum fee increase is 25% over the fees for the prior building.

The City and County as cosponsors of the enterprise zone will make the decision on how the new enterprise zone fees will be used to address significant community issues. The flexibility of the enterprise zone fees is one of the benefits of these agreements.

The City and County will be holding a public hearing to take comments on this agreement on Monday, August 3 at 5:30 p.m. at the Wasco County Courthouse, Circuit Courtroom on the Third Floor. Following the public hearing the City Council will be considering adoption of the enterprise zone agreement at a special meeting at 5:30 p.m. on August 4; and the County Commission will be considering adoption during their regular meeting on August 5.

 

Google goes for three – citizens get a chance to weigh in on tax deal – full text of agreement in this story

Following a two-hour joint executive session with Wasco County Commissioners and The Dalles City Council, the two government bodies announced late Monday that Google, which recently completed a major new building expansion in The Dalles, will buy 25 acres in the Port of The Dalles new business park, even before the dedication ceremonies Friday.

Not surprisingly, Google is asking the city and the county to offer them a third 15-year enterprise zone agreement under which the company would pay no taxes on the new buildings for 15 years. The company will pay fees to the city and county each year, once the new facility is up and running.

This time, though, the public will have a chance to comment on the whole package. City Manager Nolan Young announced a joint session of the City of The Dalles and the Wasco County Commission next Monday night,August 3 at 5:30 p.m. at the Wasco County Courthouse. The purpose of that meeting is for a public hearing on the Google proposal, which is posted online at gorgenewscenter.com. The Dalles City Council plans to meet the following day, Tuesday, August 4 at 5:30  to vote on the plan. Wasco County Commissioners will meet Wednesday, August 5.

The 24-page agreement is below. There is a map on page 18:

 

 

 

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Klickitat County starts candidate filing – 21 positions open for election

A Special 3 Day Candidate Filing Period will be held August 7th through 9th, 2015. Mail in
declarations will be accepted July 26th-August 7th.

Twenty-one positions are open for election.
For more information, please visit our website at vote.wa.gov/klickitat, call the Elections
Department at (509) 773-4001 or (800) 583-8050 or email voting@klickitatcounty.org.

Brenda Sorensen
Klickitat County Auditor
And Ex-Officio Supervisor of Elections

 

Audio: Listen to the complete emergency wildfire preparedness meeting in case you missed it

07 23 15 Palmer and slide composite

Local Emergency Management, Fire Services and Law Enforcement hosted a pre-wildfire season community briefing last night at Mid Columbia Fire & Rescue in The Dalles. Chief Bob Palmer, Emergency services manager Kristi Beauchamp and Wasco County Undersheriff Lane Magill  spoke about being prepared in advance and evacuation protocols. You can hear the whole meeting by clicking on the grey podcast bar below:

Jaime Herrera Beutler’s Sea Lion Bill and West Coast Crab Management Bill will Receive Congressional Hearing on Thursday, July 23

WASHINGTON, DC – Jaime Herrera Beutler announced today that two of her bills to better manage Northwest ocean resources will receive congressional hearings before the Water, Power and Oceans Subcommittee of the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee on Thursday, July 23.

The Endangered Salmon and Fisheries Predation Prevention Act seeks to reduce predation on endangered Columbia River salmon, and the West Coast Dungeness Crab Management Act will permanently extend a 17-year fishery management agreement that has been vital to Washington state’s Dungeness crab fishery.  The next step after the subcommittee hearing would be a markup by the full Natural Resources Committee.

“We work hard to preserve our salmon runs on the Columbia River, but leaving them vulnerable to unnatural levels of sea lion predation negates our community’s efforts,” said Jaime.  “My bipartisan solution will give fish managers the tools they need to protect the endangered salmon and steelhead.”

“Fishermen in Washington state have been effectively managing the west coast crab fishery for nearly two decades, making it healthy and sustainable for future generations,” continued Jaime. “We should solidify the current arrangement that is set to expire, eliminating any uncertainty about this partnership so that crab fishermen can continue supporting hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars in benefits to our communities.”

Markup Details:

WHAT: Water, Power and Oceans Subcommittee on the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee Hearing on Jaime Herrera Beutler’s bipartisan legislation

  1. H.R. 564Endangered Salmon and Fisheries Predation Prevention Act
  2. H.R. 2168West Coast Dungeness Crab Management Act

WHO:
Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler

Witness for H.R. 564: The Honorable Leotis McCormack, Commissioner, Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission, Lapwai, Idaho

Witness for H.R. 2168: Mr. Dale Beasley, President, Columbia River Crab Fisherman’s Association, Ilwaco, Washington

 

WHEN: Wednesday, July 23

7:30 AM Pacific Time

WHERE: 1334 Hearing Room, Longworth House Office Building

Washington, DC

Video of the hearing will be live streamed here.
Additional markup information and details can be found at the committee website here.