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Cookeville council approves memorandum on muted 'Project Victor' prospect

Liz Engel Clark
Friday, Jul 18, 2014

COOKEVILLE – Details surrounding a big-time industrial prospect that's looking to locate outside the Highlands Business Park in Cookeville are still very much clouded in secrecy, but some recent action by the Cookeville city council indicates that talks – at the very least – are still moving forward.

The council approved a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on Thursday night, essentially inking an agreement between those two parties and the city's industrial development board (IDB) and serving as a guideline in completing the project in future weeks.

It's the city's policy not to comment on economic development activity until an official announcement has been made – but the MOU did itemize several bigger pieces of information, including the estimated number of jobs, which is around 700 by Dec. 31, 2020, and an initial investment, totaling $100 million for "acquisition, construction and equipping of a distribution facility." The prospect at this point has only been referred to as Project Victor.

The action Thursday also authorized the city's industrial development board to negotiate/accept payments in-lieu of ad valorem taxes (PILOT) and authorized City Manager Jim Shipley to execute all instruments necessary to effectuate the same. And another resolution authorized submission of a grant application to the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development for FastTrack economic development funds. If approved, said grant funds, amounting $4.8 million, will provide assistance in acquiring land for Project Victor. There's to be a 30-year PILOT agreement on the facility and equipments.

Victor, if successful, would locate outside the Highlands Business Park, at Mine Lick Creek Road and Old Stewart Road. Total property acquisition is 257.37 acres.

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