Thursday, August 12, 2004

Incentive package OK'd, but Dell shopping around

John Kiesewetter
Enquirer staff writer

WEST CHESTER TWP. - Dude, we're not getting a Dell, yet.

West Chester Township trustees approved a 60 percent tax abatement on property and equipment over seven years Tuesday for the computer maker to open a distribution center here.

But the company is considering other sites in other states.

There is no guarantee Dell will come to Butler County, says David Gile, senior operations manager for Dell's fulfillment center division.

In late July, the Ohio Tax Credit Authority approved a $2.9 million corporate earnings tax credit over 10 years if the Texas-based company were to open a West Chester Township center.

The trustees' action Tuesday must be approved by Butler County commissioners, who will consider the incentive package on Aug. 19.

The West Chester Enterprise Zone Committee also recommended that Dell pay Princeton Schools an estimated $562,000 in lost compensation over the seven years, said Melissa Koehler, township economic development director.

Gile would not say when Dell plans to make a decision on a facility from which to ship direct-to-customer orders. He also would not say how many other sites are under consideration.

Dell is negotiating a 10-year lease for the vacant Park 75 Opus North America warehouse, 9701 Windisch Road along Interstate 75, Koehler said.

The company would hire 665 employees with a payroll of $17.5 million, she said. The 427,000-square-foot building could be expanded to meet the company's growth, she said.

Dell came to this township because "the available labor force here is really important to us," said Michele Blood, public affairs manager for Dell in Round Rock, Texas.

Dell is looking at Midwest locations because 70 percent of its customers are on the East Coast, Koehler said.


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