SAN ANTONIO -- Four hundred jobs is what stood out when CPS Energy announced a deal to build the nation's largest solar power plant in San Antonio. But now, the original praise is being drowned out by words of concern from some city council members.
The deal with a South Korean company includes millions of dollars in new incentives at the taxpayer's expense. If a deal is worked out, there will be 400 new jobs coming to Brooks City Base. But some on city council want to make sure the company bringing those jobs doesn't get too sweet a deal.
"I haven't seen a concrete business deal," said Councilwoman Elisa Chan. "So, it's hard for me to know what it is."
Chan is concerned enough over possible incentives given to South Korea-based solar manufacturer Nexelon that she voiced those concerns at Tuesday's Brooks Development Authority board meeting.
"If we do incentivize, I want to make sure that business deal makes sense for the citizens of San Antonio." explained Chan. "We cannot afford to just keep on doling out money, because we know we need that money to go out and attract new businesses."
The issue stems from a deal by CPS Energy and another company called OCI Solar Power to develop the largest municipal solar project in the country. Nexelon will make the solar panels here and employee over 400 people.
City council members are all for the jobs, but some worry whether they really need to sweeten the pot by giving $12-million to Brooks to pay for infrastructure improvements on the property.
If the deal never happens, it never happens," said Roland Lozano, Interim CEO of Brooks City Base. "But if it does, those incentives would be there for us to have."
At least one council person, Rey Saldana showed up at Tuesdays meeting to make it clear he'll support a deal.
"The Brooks board has authorized it's staff to continue negotiating," said Manuel Pelaez, Brooks Development Authority President.
Pelaez says their staff is still trying to work out the details of a deal, which is exactly what makes some on city council nervous.
"Right now, there's nothing that's been decided as far as deal terms, Pelaez said. "No contracts have been signed. No contracts will be signed until they are brought back to this board and city council and blessed off by all the decision makers."
Nexelon representatives were in San Antonio for Tuesday's meeting but declined to comment on the negotiations.
City council does is set to vote on the incentives Thursday.