Council Report: Alcon, Bell Metal project updates

Alcon center

Rick Mauch

FWBP Contributor

    The Fort Worth City Council, at Tuesday’s meeting, voted to adopt a resolution to affirm Alcon Laboratories, Inc. as an Enterprise Zone Project (EZP).
    In November of 2016 the council previously approved a resolution to nominate Alcon as an EZP. At the time, Alcon had anticipated investing approximately $78.4 million in a “Campus Revitalization Project” at its existing campus, located at 6201 S. Fwy. The investment was to include $71.8 mIllion to be spent on real property improvements, including over $16 million in the redesign and restoration of existing space, and $6.6 million anticipated to be spent on machinery, equipment and telecommunication equipment.

A report from Alcon stated that virtually all of the capital investment outlined in the December 2016 project application has been completed. The company expected to retain
its workforce of 1,469 total employees and create an additional 100 full-time jobs, with an average annual salary of $89,994.00, and is now reporting over 1,100 employees at the facility.
    The Texas Enterprise Zone Program allows cities to pursue their goal of inducing the investment of private resources in productive business enterprises and provide employment to residents of enterprise zones and other economically disadvantaged individuals or veterans.

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Among the reasons Alcon qualifies are having at least 25% of its new or retained employees being residents of the enterprise zone, economically disadvantaged folks, or veterans.
    City officials cited the assignment to Alcon will continue a significant contribution to the achievement of the plans of the city for development and revitalization of the area.

    Ball Metal Beverage Container Corporation was granted approval as an enterprise zone project by the Fort Worth City Council at its Tuesday meeting.
    The Texas Enterprise Zone Program is an economic development tool for local communities to partner with the State of Texas to promote job creation and capital investment in economically distressed areas of the state. An enterprise project is defined as a business that is nominated by a municipality or county and then approved for state benefits.

Designated projects are eligible to apply for state sales and use tax refunds on
qualified expenditures. The level and amount of refund is related to the capital investment and jobs created at the qualified business site.
    Ball qualifies for a single enterprise project designation with a planned capital investment in excess of $50 million in various facility and equipment upgrades between June 1, 2020 and May 31, 2025 at its Fort Worth facility. These planned investments in machinery and equipment are to upgrade a portion of the facility currently utilized for warehousing to manufacturing space. Warehousing will then be done offsite via a leased
warehouse facility.

Ball has committed to hiring 25% economically disadvantaged persons or enterprise zone residents for its new certified jobs at the facility. The company also expects to retain all full-time jobs for benefit under the EZP, as well as add 60 positions paying an average annual wage of $61,500.
    The single project designation allows for a state sales and use tax refund on qualified expenditures of $2,500 per job, for up to 500 jobs, with a maximum benefit of $1.25 million over a five-year period. In addition, the jobs will be provided through the end of the designation period or at least three years after the date on which a state benefit is received, whichever is later.