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After criticism of incentives, Fargo mayor asks FedEx executive for briefing

FARGO -- Stung by criticism of tax incentives the City Commission granted FedEx two weeks ago, Mayor Tim Mahoney said Monday, Aug. 1, that he's invited a company executive to brief the commission.

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A FedEx plane lifts off recently at the Grand Forks International Airport. photo by Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald

FARGO - Stung by criticism of tax incentives the City Commission granted FedEx two weeks ago, Mayor Tim Mahoney said Monday, Aug. 1, that he's invited a company executive to brief the commission.

The vote on the 10-year incentives worth $618,000 was close with two of three commissioners objecting, one because the company had said it didn't need incentives and the other because it appeared Fargo was poaching business from Grand Forks.

Commentators have seized on both arguments.

"I think the point that has been missed, and that needs to be considered, is that FedEx coming to Fargo is not simply a relocation of an existing operation," Mahoney said, reading from a statement. "It is an expansion of operational services, which will positively impact the entire region, including Grand Forks."

FedEx plans to move its airport operations from Grand Forks to Fargo along with 75 workers, 25 of which are full-time jobs. It plans to lease a $1 million building and construct a $5.3 million building in Fargo.

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Mahoney said the company has agreed to have an executive familiar with FedEx's decision attend the Monday, Aug. 15, City Commission meeting. "I think it's important we all hear directly from their decision-makers on what factors led them to choosing to expand their business by coming to Fargo."

Addressing the public and news media, he said, "Please know that we have heard your concerns and will be raising these issues directly."

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