It’s more than $12 million in federal Build America bonds targeted to stimulate private companies to locate in Davis County.
“It’s geared toward job creation and bringing in new business opportunities,” said Kent Sulser, director of the county’s Economic Development Department.
“We have had conversations with multiple entities, some of which are in-state, wanting to expand, others are new businesses outside the state looking at expanding into Davis County,” he said.
“We have pledged this entire amount ($12.4 million) to one company,” Sulser said. However, no contract has been signed, no deal closed yet.
“We met with them earlier in the year to see if they’re interested in utilizing this,” with money going for a new building and infrastructure, such as roads, sewer, etc., he said.
“It’s a big national company whose name you would recognize,” Sulser said. But because negotiations are still under way, he could not name the entity.
With a “Plan B” in place, he said another firm has expressed interest in accessing $9 million of the pot.
“It would be to buy equipment, outfit a new building that they would have built here as well,” Sulser said.
As is typical with such large transactions, that firm is still looking at all of its options as well, he said.
Both of those companies are in the defense/aerospace sector. That’s a natural with Hill AFB in the county and the county’s inclusion in a previous designation by former Gov. Huntsman as an aerospace/defense cluster.
“They’ll both bring in over 50 jobs – one much more than that,” Sulser said. “They’ll bring good-paying jobs to the area. There is a potential for hundreds of new jobs” down the road – jobs that would pay well above the county average salary, he said.
“We always hope we can bring in those kind of jobs,” he said. “But companies have other options. Other states are being very aggressive, incentivizing. Everyone is very competitive. Everyone wants new job growth.”
New jobs in the county would help lower the estimated 40-45 percent of workers who commute to mostly Salt Lake County each weekday, Sulser said. An estimated 10,000 come from south of the county to work here while 18,000 come from the north, much of that to Hill AFB.
“I’m sure hundreds of Davis County workers would love working here in the county,” Sulser said.
“It improves their lifestyle,” because less commute time to and from work means more time to be at home, or doing other activities of choice, he said.
Roxanne Graham, who oversees the state’s Private Activity Bond programs, said all 29 counties are receiving bonds. However, those not able to use all of the funds have been asked to return any excess.
Statewide, $275 million has been allocated to the state between funds for private and government projects, she said.
Davis County will receive approximately $21 million, including $8.2 million that will be used to construct a new county administration center. That building will replace the existing Memorial Courthouse in downtown Farmington.