Bloomington-based Cook Group Inc. has agreed to pay its home city $100,000 per year to prevent company-owned land from being annexed. The agreement in lieu of taxes will cover 15 years. The city says the arrangement was a "significant factor" in the company’s plans to invest more than $100 million into an expansion at an old General Electric site and adding more than 500 jobs over the next decade.
The city says the company’s payment will be increased if it fails to meet investment and hiring targets. Bloomington and Cook have entered into other agreements in lieu of annexation agreements, which date back to 1979 and have been modified multiple times since.
Mayor John Hamilton says "Bloomington and Monroe County residents are thrilled with Cook’s recent announcement that they will continue investing in this community, adding hundreds of jobs, redeveloping a significant property at the former GE site, and developing the local workforce through a variety of innovative training opportunities. With this agreement in place, Cook will have the security of knowing what its tax obligation will be going forward, which we hope will make the financial planning of both the City and Cook easier and more predictable. This is good for Bloomington and good for Cook."
The agreement calls for a total of $1.5 million paid to the city’s General Fund over its life and in exchange, Bloomington will not annex Cook properties outside the city limits.