MOBILE, Ala. (WPMI) In just six weeks, Airbus will break ground on it's first U.S. factory.
Tuesday, the city council voted to spend $175,000 to assist in the 40-month construction project.
"The money is already there. When we voted the penny in we voted it in to do those kind of things," said councilman Fred Richardson.
The money allows the Mobile Airport Authority to renovate a portion of a building at Brookley Aeroplex, giving Airbus a place to work out of during the construction process.
That same building, located at 2203 Perimeter Road, will soon be shared with Airbus supplier Labinal Engineering.
"Right now Labinal is being renovated by a contractor. And now that we can get same contractor, there's a real savings," said Mayor Sam Jones.
In the original contract with Airbus, Mobile was going to provide construction trailers for Airbus to use while they build the $600 million assembly plant.
Now, instead of trailers, a portion of the Brookley building will be converted into office spaces.
"Initially it will be for Airbus. Once Airbus finishes their construction, then we'll turn it into an incubator for aerospace related industries," said Jones.
It's a plan the mayor says will benefit local businesses and entrepreneurs.
"What it does is it provides space for businesses to start and after they've been there for awhile they have to vacate that place and go to their own facility. But it provides our local people an opportunity to get into the aerospace industry," said Jones.
The city's investment will come out of revenue from the new penny sales tax.
Council member Bess Rich abstained her vote.
"We can't just be given things on a Friday before we're told we must vote on a Tuesday. Unless it's an emergency, I've never voted for funds that go in on such short notice," said Rich.