City to Pay Millions for NCR Relocation

COLUMBUS, GA (WXTX) -  The presence of NCR will generate millions for the local economy but it is also costing millions of dollars to relocate the company here.

The Columbus council entered into an intergovernmental agreement with the city's Development Authority- the group that's worked to bring NCR to this area.

The city has agreed to back the Development Authority for up to $7.5 million in order to move the project forward.

"This agreement today would allow them to go and get a line of credit- pending any federal or state support that may be coming forward- they could get that line of credit for $7.5 million and the city would commit to the debt service on that $7.5 million over the next ten years," said City Manager Isaiah Hugley.

That money will be used to buy the building that will house NCR in the Columbus Business Park, renovate it and eventually expand it.

"You have to put money in for them to come- the set up, the cost of an additional building, just a lot of things that we had to address. The state, they feel the same way we do about the importance of bringing 870 jobs into Columbus and they put up $60 million in tax deferments," said Mayor Jim Wetherington.

And city officials are hoping more state and federal government monies will come their way so all of the $7.5 million may not be used.

NCR is taking out bonds for their portion of the project.

"The NCR project is a great project for Columbus and the state of Georgia- 872 jobs. People in Columbus and the region needs jobs and that's an important project to us and that's why the mayor and city council didn't hesitate to make the commitment that needed to be made to bring this project to a reality," added Hugley.

City officials say the money they spend backing the Development Authority will be a good investment.

A new study done by Columbus State University's College of Business estimates the total annual impact of the NCR payroll to be between $74-83 million when the plant is fully operational.