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Officials Work To Fulfill Electrolux Agreement

County officials are working to finalize requirements of an agreement with the cooking appliance maker to build a $190 million manufacturing plant in Memphis.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- Memphis and Shelby County officials are working to finalize requirements of an agreement with cooking appliance maker Electrolux to build a $190 million manufacturing plant in Memphis.

The Memphis Daily News reports that the site location and development agreement includes a long checklist of items that include tight deadlines, a list of project coordinators that need to be enlisted by the respective governments and details of specific incentive needs.

Several of the requirements have to be finalized by the end of this month.

"Time is of the essence," notes the agreement.

For instance, Electrolux has an option to terminate the agreement if several matters involving the city-county Industrial Development Board, such as approval of a 15-year tax freeze, aren't settled by Jan. 31.

Other time-related elements include public authorities agreeing to fast track all necessary permit decisions for construction and operation of the 700,000-square-foot plant.

The agreement asks that best efforts be made to make the permit decisions within 30 days or, if a public hearing is required, within 60 days after filing applications for the relevant permits.

"It's an aggressive schedule," Memphis chief administrative officer George Little told City Council members last month upon presenting them the agreement. "Each of the (parties) involved ... is going to have to make this project an A-1 priority."

The plant, expected to begin production in 2012, will build products like drop-in/slide-in ranges, wall ovens, specialty freestanding ranges and cooktops.

The company has agreed to use "commercially reasonable efforts" to have employed at least 1,240 full-time workers by no later than five years after production begins at the site.

Incentives for the plant include the state providing $92 million to the Industrial Development Board for infrastructure items and related needs and the city and county chipping in $20 million each to fund similar needs.

The agreement also calls for the state committing a minimum of $3.1 million for job training assistance and for the Tennessee Valley Authority to pay the company up to $1.5 million for electrical infrastructure improvement costs.
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