The Marion County Board of County Commissioners unanimously approved its part of the incentive plan to pay for a FedEx Ground hub in Ocala at a meeting Tuesday morning.
The board met with the Ocala City Council to discuss providing money to build the hub at the Ocala/Marion County Commerce Park. The Ocala council is in discussion about its portion of the incentive plan to build the nearly 400,000-square-foot facility.
Kathy Bryant, chairwoman of the Marion County Board of County Commissioners, says the board felt this was the best decision for Marion County. She said if approved, the FedEx Ground hub could put almost $123 million of capital investment into the community. Bryant cites the jobs it would create as the number one reason the incentive plan was passed.
Jeannine Robbins, manager of the Office Public Communications for the Ocala City Council, said that while she expects the plan to be approved, the council is under no obligation to follow Marion County’s lead.
Though they are not obligated to approve the plan, Robbins said council members agree that this would be the right move for the community.
The Marion County Commissioners agreed to pay more than $1 million in incentive money. If approved, the Ocala City Council will agree to pay more than $2.3 million. Robbins says the money will be funded mostly by the state.
In addition to the jobs FedEx will bring to the community, both Robbins and Bryant are hopeful that FedEx will attract other businesses to the area.
“One would certainly hope that FedEx has a huge brand recognition and it would certainly be wonderful to have them here and let other industries know that we’re open for business,” Robbins said.
Marion County and Ocala residents are also looking ahead to the opportunities the FedEx Ground hub could bring.
Robbins said the further development of the construction would fall into FedEx’s hands if the Ocala City Council approves the agreement.
The council is still in discussion. Construction for the hub is expected to begin summer 2014.
Mike Llerena wrote this story online.