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"Mayor appeals to citizens to keep solar power company in Wilsonville"

"Mayor appeals to citizens to keep solar power company in Wilsonville"

Sonic solar installation in Wilsonville

Hi All-

As Mayor of Wilsonville, I feel it extremely important that we do all we can to enable

our families, friends, neighbors as well as our schools and businesses to succeed. Right now

many are challenged in an economy that just is not as favorable as we would like to see. We

have a unique opportunity in the form of the current Solopower proposal to convert an unused

warehouse space into a state of the art manufacturing facility right here in Wilsonville. This

proposal would create 4 production lines to make thin-film solar panels with a proprietary

process that Solopower has invented and refined. It will create about 140 local jobs, with

a taxable investment of some $50million in Wilsonville in the first year. Within 5 years

they plan to install 4 production lines, which will mean approx. 500 local jobs and some

$250-$300million in taxable local investment. A State of Oregon study forecasts that this

manufacturing operation will indirectly create an additional 1500 jobs in Oregon. This is exactly

the kind of activity that will greatly benefit Wilsonville, the Metro Region and the State.

The City Council has carefully worked out a plan to make Wilsonville competitive with the

Enterprise Zone programs many other cities offer, but which we are not eligible to offer under

State law. This plan uses an Urban Renewal program as a tool to approximate the advantages

that an Enterprise Zone would offer. The City would loan Solopower $2million once they

legally commit to a long term lease in Wilsonville and prove they have ordered the machinery

for the first production line here. Once they have the first production line operating and are

selling the product from that line, they could borrow an additional $2million to similarly help

get the second production line into operation. The $4million will be paid back through property

taxes on the new equipment and improved building, after which Solopower would be eligible

for a reduced tax program for up to 10 years. The reduced taxes are rebated to Solopower based

on what they actually paid in taxes the prior year: we would be returning their own money to

them year by year, money we will not have at all if Solo does not locate here. Each year some

tax money will flow through to help support our schools, fire department, and local government

services for our citizens. The City will NOT borrow money to do this, NO debt is created,

existing available money will be used temporarily until Solopower pays it back in annual taxes.

 

WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP: A small group of local people are gathering petition

signatures to force a public vote on this proposal. By statute, that vote could not happen until

September. Solopower is required by some of their funding agreements to have the factory

under construction before then, so they must commit millions of dollars on leases, construction,

equipment and employees before a vote could happen. Many other cities are trying to recruit

Solopower away from Wilsonville while this is going on. Just 10% of the voters signing the

petition will force the delayed vote and can destroy this opportunity for Wilsonville, even

if 70% or 80% or even 90% of citizens want the proposal to go ahead. If the "public vote"

petition gathers enough signatures, Solopower will be forced to look for a different town as they

cannot afford to wait and see what the outcome of a September vote will be. WE NEED YOUR

ACTIVE SUPPORT TO BE SURE THAT DOES NOT HAPPEN.

A small group of local people are gathering petition

signatures to force a public vote on this proposal. By statute, that vote could not happen until

September. Solopower is required by some of their funding agreements to have the factory

under construction before then, so they must commit millions of dollars on leases, construction,

equipment and employees before a vote could happen. Many other cities are trying to recruit

Solopower away from Wilsonville while this is going on. Just 10% of the voters signing the

petition will force the delayed vote and can destroy this opportunity for Wilsonville, even

if 70% or 80% or even 90% of citizens want the proposal to go ahead. If the "public vote"

petition gathers enough signatures, Solopower will be forced to look for a different town as they

cannot afford to wait and see what the outcome of a September vote will be. WE NEED YOUR

ACTIVE SUPPORT TO BE SURE THAT DOES NOT HAPPEN.

 

PLEASE FORWARD THIS TO ALL YOUR WILSONVILLE FRIENDS AND

NEIGHBORS. It is important that every voter understand what is at stake before signing a

petition.

Thanks/ Tim Knapp

It is important that every voter understand what is at stake before signing a

petition.

Thanks/ Tim Knapp

 
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