Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Vacaville could land aircraft firm

Vacaville could land aircraft firm

By Kimberly K. Fu/
Posted: 09/25/2013 01:01:01 AM PDT

With a cheer Tuesday, Vacaville leaders moved a step closer to bringing a high-tech aircraft production and sales business to the city.In a unanimous vote, the City Council approved a final agreement between the city and Southern California-based ICON Aircraft Inc., which has proposed the construction of a multimillion-dollar facility adjacent to the Nut Tree Airport."This really, truly is a significant moment in the history of the city of Vacaville," said Vice Mayor Dilenna Harris. "This is going to be fantastic and I just can't wait."Councilman Curtis Hunt agreed."This truly is a milestone for Vacaville," he said. "Five hundred jobs, potentially, a $10 million dollar facility. ... We are all so very excited about this.

"The city has been working for two years with ICON Aircraft, in partnership with the state, the county, the Solano Economic Development Corporation and others to reach an agreement that would bring the firm to Vacaville.The current agreement would bring ICON's unique amphibious light sport aircraft, the A5, to Vacaville. ICON officials have said there's a long waiting list for the luxury plane, which means the city would almost immediately begin to reap the benefits of sales tax revenues.

Future plans include a training facility.Other benefits, officials said, would include the generation of 500 or so high-paying jobs and more revenues for the city by way of ICON clients. That includes hotel stays and the frequenting of local eateries and shops by those looking into buying the planes, as well as learning to pilot them.Incentives have been built into the agreement, including sales tax rebates and the sharing of the transient occupancy tax.

City officials emphasize that there's no risk on their part in the agreement, which they described as win-win for the city, as well as the Solano region.Assemblyman Jim Frazier, D-Solano, assured the community that he would continue to help further the process any way he can."I will continue to put up a fight against Arizona and Texas," he said. "I am in Sacramento fighting on your behalf. ... I'm not going to let go."The matter now rests in the hands of ICON officials, who must choose between three locations to find the home for its headquarters. Arizona and Texas remain in the running.In other matters, the council also unanimously approved the Vanden Meadows development proposed for south Vacaville.

The project is a near-265-acre development to be built west of Leisure Town Road and south of the Southtown community.Plans call for 939 dwellings, a Travis Unified School District school site, neighborhood park, pedestrian trails and more.Council members said they want to scrap plans for apartment dwellings, which the applicant supports and pledged to initiate that process as soon as possible. More discussions are expected about traffic issues and road work.

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