HUTCHINSON, Kan. — The Hutchinson City Council discussed a proposed job incentive policy during its regular agenda session. After more than an hour of discussion, no agreement could be reached and the matter was tabled.
The sticking point centered around whether there should be verbiage in the policy regarding job retention and job creation. Councilman John Daveline was spearheading the addition and said such incentives were given to Eaton when it threatened to close and to Lowen when it hinted at relocating jobs elsewhere.
Questions came up whether the extra wording might cause some restrictions in the policy. Council members also worried if the policy was left as is, it would keep the door open to other companies that might not entirely fit the scope of the incentive program.
Councilman Steve Dechant argued that policy for such matters needed to be drafted or handled separately. Questions were also raised as to how the city could recoup funds if a company does not comply with the requirements to get such financial incentives. The council also wanted to restrict certain industry and business that would not fit certain tax abatement incentives or IRB financed ventures. Deardorff says the policy did allow some flexibility to provide help to potential companies.
In the end, Dechant motioned for adopting the policy as is, which died for lack of a second. Daveline then made a motion that the policy should include retention — that failed by a 3-2 vote. After much more discussion, the council tabled any action and asked that the policy be redrafted to include retention and cleaned up to keep more flexibility in the policy.