Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Who is going to get the White Street Landfill's methane in the new contracts?

"The International Textile Group could soon ask the city to give it more free methane gas
— a byproduct of the White Street Landfill...

December 7, 2010 Greensboro City Council Agenda Item #24

PDF page 44

But the three-year-old incentive deal, meant to keep the White Oak Plant in operation,
could run up against changes in the city’s plans for the landfill.

for some free methane to "economically develop"?
Council members also must decide whether a new incentive is worth it
— considering the deal has not slowed layoffs at the plant.

International Textile Group owns the former Cone Mills plant.

Five years ago [2005], the denim plant employed 1,100 workers.

By 2007, ITG was “under significant pressure” from international market forces to move to foreign cities...

That July, the City Council agreed to give ITG the methane gas for free for three years...
Was Cone provided free gas before 2007?

Council on “need to know” basis?

David Hoggard: December 6, 2004
The understanding was that the company would “make a good faith effort”
to continue to employ approximately 738 people “or such other number that is commercially feasible”...

It is one of only two economic incentives the city approved to keep jobs, as opposed to adding new jobs...
What is the other city "retention" incentive?
...In 2008 and 2009, ITG eliminated ring-spinning operations and reduced its weaving capacity at White Oak.

Since then, the work force has shrunk to about 300 employees.
Now it's more expensive gas to retain 300
instead of 738?

If the proposed new deal says the deal is off if employment falls below 150,
what did the original agreement say?
...the gas represents an opportunity for businesses
angling to take over the potentially lucrative job of handling Greensboro’s waste.
If $1,785,000 / 150 = $11,900 per job per year,
how much are the plant employees making?
Companies have proposed selling the gas or using it to generate electricity,
something that the city of Winston-Salem is doing at its landfill.

One company’s proposal suggested the city could earn $650,000 a year
with a gas-to-electricity program.

...once the textile company makes a formal request to extend the incentive,
the city staff will evaluate the market for the gas.
Where is the evaluation?

Why isn't the evaluation included in the city council agenda attachment?
The equipment that moves the gas to the surface is also in need of updating or replacing,
which will have to be part of any future equation.
Should the equipment cost "equation"
be spelled out before consummation of the agreement?
If Greensboro gives away $1,785,000 worth of gas
to not lose 150 relatively low paying jobs,
and the city chose to leverage gas money into small business new hiring instead,
could Greensboro create by far more higher paying jobs
instead of hopefully “retaining” 150 for $11,900 per job per year ($1,785,000 / 150)
for the same amount of money?

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