City approves industrial revenue bond issues for three aviation firms

12/12/2012 6:57 AM

08/06/2014 11:42 AM

The Wichita City Council signed off Tuesday on industrial revenue bond issues for three Wichita aviation firms, including two major plane builders.

Approved were a $1.4 million bond issue for Bombardier-Learjet, to finance capital investments made at the company’s Wichita facilities in the second half of 2012; and a $13 million bond issue for Cessna Aircraft, to cover capital investments at its Pawnee and Mid-Continent Airport plants.

Both companies, longtime partners with the city in ongoing bond issues to finance growth, also maintain five-year, 100 percent property tax abatements on all property financed with bond proceeds.

Those abatements are renewable for another five years if city officials determine the bonds are producing job growth.

The two companies have longstanding bond agreements with the city, Bombardier dating back to its 1961 Learjet days and Cessna dating back to 1990. Allen Bell, the city’s urban development director, said the council has issued more than $1.2 billion in IRBs for Cessna since 1990 to finance the expansion and modernization of its facilities. The 1961 Learjet bond issue was the city’s first industrial revenue bond issue, Bell said.

The council also approved a $3.125 million bond issue for Product Manufacturing Company, a parts manufacturer for the aviation industry, for a 66,000-square-foot addition to its facility at 4626 W. May in southwest Wichita. The addition should add 40 new jobs over the next three years, at an average salary of just under $50,000.

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