City backs Intel on $350M

Posted on December 21, 2005 | Type: In the News
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Chandler has given Intel its blessing to borrow $350 million in tax-exempt Industrial Development Authority bonds for its $2 billion local expansion.

It's the largest such loan in city history and demonstrates Chandler's unique relationship with the computer chipmaker, the city's biggest employer.

Until now, the highest amount approved in Chandler was $28 million in 1982 for the then-Chandler Community Hospital.

The bonds, issued through the Arizona Department of Commerce with city backing, finance private growth that meets a long list of public benefits criteria, including jobs creation. Because interest on the bonds is tax-exempt, rates are lower, Intel spokeswoman Jeanne Forbis said.

The City Council voted unanimous approval last week.

Intel will use the money to build a state-of-the-art wastewater treatment system, giving the loan an environmental purpose that allows the amount to exceed a $10 million cap set on building construction, Forbis said.

This isn't the first time Chandler has backed the chipmaker in a major environmental project. In 1994, the company and the city partnered to build a reverse osmosis plant to recycle Intel's industrial process water. The project brought Chandler awards from the Arizona Water and Pollution Control Association for its commitment to treatment plant safety.

How much in tax-exempt bonds each state can approve is limited by population under federal law.

Intel must now see how much is left of Arizona's portion and is likely to borrow about half this year and half next year, Forbis said.

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