A lengthy report in the Press Democrat of Santa Rosa, Calif., reveals Amy’s Kitchen executives are balking at the $34 million water and sewer permit fees the city of Santa Rosa proposes to levy as part of the organic frozen food makers’ expansion plans.
It appears the same economic forces that led to Amy’s to open a plant here in 2006, following a tug of war between former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski, are once more at work.
Amy’s CEO and co-founder Andy Berliner probably didn’t anticipate $34 million water and sewer fees when he announced the company was planning a $40-$50 million expansion in the Bay Area suburb back in March.
Reporter Kevin McCallum wrote: Santa Rosa officials have told Amy’s Kitchen that the company’s expansion plans could trigger up to $34 million in water and sewer permit fees alone, a figure that stunned the company and has set off a furious effort to prevent it from once again expanding to Oregon instead of Sonoma County.
Earlier this year, officials at the Petaluma-based maker of frozen foods asked Santa Rosa officials to give them an estimate of the permit costs associated with a two-phase expansion plan that could eventually bring 800 additional jobs to the city.
The company is also looking at other local properties, CFO Mark Rudolph told the Press Democrat:
While it owns existing land in Medford where it could expand, the company’s strong preference is to remain here.
“We won’t run for the hills until we’ve exhausted every possibility and it comes out saying this is just not going to work,” Rudolph said. “But we’re nowhere near that.”
A new report detailing unemployment rates for young adults shows joblessness for Oregonians 16 to 24 is 17.8 percent.
The national figure for young adults is 16.1 percent, twice the overall national average. In Oregon, the unemployment rate for young adults is more than twice the state average.
According to Young Invincibles, a Washington, D.C.-based organization, 55 percent of young people who have a job work full time, down from 66 percent is 2005. The number of young people who have a job at all has decreased from 66 percent in 2005 to just 53 percent today.
Cascade Bancorp, parent company of Bend-based Bank of the Cascades, said its first-quarter earnings rose 60 percent, sparked by loan portfolio improvements and reduced costs.
The bank holding company earned $1.7 million, compared to $1.1 million in the first quarter of 2012. The company made no provision for loan losses after recording a $1.1 million provision in the prior-year period as nonperforming assets fell 18 percent, to $21.9 million.