May 28, 2008
By Alton K. Marsh
Piper Aircraft has accepted a $32 million incentive package from state and county officials to remain at its present Vero Beach, Fla., location.
Finally ruled out are alternative sites in Oklahoma City and Albuquerque, N.M.
Despite the fact that a county commissioner had confirmed the deal in April, a press conference took place this week in Vero Beach because it was required as part of the incentive package.
The money will be awarded in stages as Piper officials show gains in employment, factory investment, and orders for the PiperJet. However, all of the goals for new employees, capital investment, and PiperJet orders have already been partially or fully met. The money will be paid over three years.
Florida Gov. Charlie Crist called the decision “an investment in Florida.” Piper President and CEO James K. Bass said one of the most important factors in the decision to stay put was the workforce. He predicted the decision could attract other industries to Indian River County where Vero Beach is located.
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