Through the Water Gas and Light Commission, the city of Albany could get up to 30-million dollars in reimbursements from MEAG power bonds over the next several years.
City leaders could do a lot of things with that money. Giving WG&L customers a rate cut, padding the reserve fund, or pouring it into the general fund to give taxpayers a break are all good options. But we agree with what the city decided to do.
City commissioners approved a plan to use at least 10-million dollars of the money to set up a deal-closing fund. They’ll work with the Economic Development Commission to work out details, but industries that promise to create 100 jobs or make millions in capital investment will qualify for financial help.
Albany often is at a disadvantage compared to other cities when it comes to attracting large industries. This fund will set the city apart and should get the attention of businesses looking to expand. Hopefully, it will be a good investment that attracts jobs, improves the economy, and makes the Albany area a better place for all of us.
Written by Jim Wilcox, general manager of WALB.