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      Jobs created with IBM coming to Columbia

      Crowd at the IBM announcement

      "Many of you have heard me say before that the stars are aligned in our community for economic development, Gov. Jay Nixon said. And this is significant economic development.

      The announcement came Monday afternoon.

      IBM is coming to Columbia with hundreds of new jobs and millions in new tax revenues.

      Regional economic development corporation board president Dave Griggs had been sitting on the secret for six months, a condition imposed by the company. Monday, the wraps came off IBM TMs plan to open data storage and service center in Columbia.

      "We anticipate the creation of 800 jobs by the year end 2012, IBM Service and Development VP Tim Shaughnessy said.

      Shaughnessy said the company will rely heavily on the university community for both training and labor.

      "We think about 80 percent of the jobs will be sourced locally, either from Columbia or the surrounding areas, Nixon said.

      The new employment will be high tech and high dollar. The annual payroll could exceed $40 million. The city expects $7 million in new taxes over 10 years.

      "The Columbia Public Schools will get an increase in revenue of $4.3 million, Columbia Mayor Bob McDavid said.

      IBM will move to 2810 LeMone Industrial Blvd. The city will spend more than $3 million to buy the property. The state will spend more than $28 million in tax credits and grants to turn the building into a data distribution center and to train the workers.

      Nixon said there is no inconsistency with his call to reduce tax credits not when job creation at this level is involved.

      "Quite frankly, with the burgeoning historic tax credits, as well as some of the low incomes, we don't have those choices, Nixon said. And, consequently, we don't get the same return on investment. These credits, used properly, will mean jobs for decades to come, here in the heartland.

      The Columbia City Council is expected to finalize the appropriation for the purchase of the LeMone Industrial property at Monday night TMs meeting.

      The mayor said the council has known about the plan for months, but has kept it quiet.