Fayetteville, N.C. — The Fayetteville City Council voted unanimously Monday night to add $1 million to an incentives package for Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. In return, Goodyear would be required to invest at least $200 million by 2012.
"In these economic times, this plant is huge,” Councilman Wesley Meredith said.
After Goodyear's investment, the city would pay $100,000 per year for 10 years. According to the terms of the deal, the plant must maintain at least 2,000 jobs during that time or forfeit the payment. Currently, almost 3,000 people work there.
The state has promised $30 million, and Cumberland County has approved about $7 million for the company. The county and state incentives operate differently and have different requirements.
The Cumberland County Chamber of Commerce argued the facility was worth the money.
"If Goodyear were to vacate the community, almost 2,500 people with very specific skill-sets would be out of a job,” Doug Peters, president of the Chamber of Commerce, said.
According to the chamber, the jobs represent $155 million in pay and $96 million in benefits.
In August, the plant temporarily closed as part of a nationwide effort to let demand catch up to supply.
Goodyear plant manager Tim Frosell would not say Monday whether the company would stay in Fayetteville without incentives.
"That would be a lot of speculation. I am not sure I could answer that very clearly,” Frosell said.
All council members present voted in favor of the incentives package. If the company does not meet its end of the bargain, the incentives package goes away. There would be no refund on money spent.
One resident stood up against the payout.
"It is called Goodyear for a reason. They never had a bad year,” Jose Cardona said.
Goodyear said the plant has already invested more than half of the $200 million promised.