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COOS BAY — At a special meeting Tuesday night, the Coos Bay City Council voted to approve the Bay Area Enterprise Zone Community Service Fee Intergovernmental Agreement with Jordan Cove.

Recently, a community group with representatives from the Bay Area Enterprise Zone sponsors has been working on a new agreement.

The sponsors are the cities of North Bend and Coos Bay, Coos County and the International Port of Coos Bay. After months of work, a new agreement was reached, and with Coos Bay’s approval of the agreement, all sponsors have now approved the Community Enhancement Plan.

Discussion with Jordan Cove on contributing to the enterprise zone began when talk of the project began in the early 2000s.

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If a company can promise a certain amount of investment in an enterprise zone in the form of tax revenue and job creation, then they qualify for a five-year tax exemption. However, in Jordan Cove’s case, if the project is approved, the company has promised to make payments as part of its Community Enhancement Plan that would be shared between the four community sponsors.

“Should this occur, Jordan Cove has agreed to pay a community service fee in lieu of property taxes,” Coos Bay City Manager Rodger Craddock said. "This agreement does not provide any land use approvals or permit approvals. It simply provides a framework on how best to use the revenues to benefit the community, should the project be developed.”

Annual payments from the Community Enhancement Plan from Jordan Cove are estimated at $12 million for the five-year tax exemption period during construction.

In the new agreement, 50 percent of the community enhancement money will be put into a fund to support South Coast schools. Another 18.75 percent will be given to the Waterfront Development Partnership, and 15.5 percent will go to Coos County. The Southwestern Oregon Community College Foundation will receive 4 percent, Coos County Library Service District will get 4.25 percent, the International Port of Coos Bay will get 3.75 percent, Southwest Oregon Regional Airport will get 1.75 percent, the North Bay Rural Fire Protection District will get 1.5 percent and the OSU Extension Service will get .5 percent.

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Nicholas A. Johnson can be reached at 541-266-6049, or by email at nicholas.johnson@theworldlink.com.

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