Panel approves incentives for possible GM project - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Panel approves incentives for possible GM project

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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (AP) -- A state panel has approved tax incentives for a possible expansion at the General Motors assembly plant in Bowling Green.

The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority approved $7.5 million in tax breaks if the plant, which makes Corvettes, goes forward with the $131 million project.

Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development spokeswoman Mandy Lambert told the Daily News of Bowling Green that the approval "outlines the state's support for the project, should it happen."

Local GM spokeswoman Andrea Hales said the company is looking at other sites for possible investment and there is no pending announcement.

United Auto Workers Local 2164 President Eldon Renaud told the Lexington Herald-Leader that he thinks the project could be the next generation of the Corvette.

GM is expected to start making the new Corvette by 2013. Hales declined to say whether the project would be the next generation of Corvette.

Records show that the project, which was characterized in a state report as mostly a refurbishment, could bring 250 new jobs with an average hourly wage of $42 including benefits.

Renaud said he's been told a new body shop would be needed to produce the next generation of the Corvette.

Bowling Green Mayor Joe Denning said the city plans to do whatever it can to ensure GM's project is successful.

"We will work to offer some incentives," Denning said. "We don't know what that may be but we'll work with them whatever way we can."

Denning said a local economic board has met to discuss incentives for the company.

"It's a very big deal and to have that number of employees possibly on board and paying taxes in the city is great for Bowling Green," Denning added.

Lambert said the state will continue to work with GM as it evaluates options.

State records show the company must maintain a base employment of 449 full-time Kentucky residents at the plant.

The plant now employs about 500 workers, Hales said.

It opened in 1981 and produced 15,791 Corvettes last year, according to GM.

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