by Sheila Gardner

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January 8, 2014
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County OKs $200,000 Cristek incentive

Douglas County commissioners approved allocation of $200,000 in state “catalyst” funds to a new business that must make good on its pledge to create 50 new jobs at an average wage of $18.46 per hour.

Cristek Interconnects, Inc., has been operating on Orbit Way in the Bently Science Park since October.

Lisa Granahan, Douglas County economic vitality manager, told commissioners Monday the average wage must meet or exceed the lesser of the state or county wage.

Site manager Kathy Jo Kidd read a letter to the board from Cristi Cristich, founder and president, who was unable to attend the meeting.

“I could not personally be any happier with our decision,” said Cristich of the company’s expansion from Anaheim, Calif., into Douglas County.

“I think Cristek is a very good company and will be a good community asset for us,” said Commissioner Nancy McDermid.

The board met Monday in lieu of last Thursday.

McDermid inquired how long the commitment was in place for the company to collect the incentive funds.

Granahan said the agreement lasted 42 months.

“After that period, there is no additional requirement to continue the jobs,” Granahan said.

“Every county in the state is competing for these funds,” said Commissioner Lee Bonner. “Who monitors compliance?”

Granahan said there was no administrative overhead. She will be doing most of the monitoring, working with the district attorney and the county finance department.

Granahan estimated she would spend 30 to 40 hours a year overseeing compliance, which she referred to as the county’s “in-kind” contribution.

If the company fails to use or misuses the funding in accordance with the agreement, the county can immediately cease providing the money. Under the agreement, Cristek agrees to repay the amount of the loan, plus interest, to the county, which will reimburse the Catalyst Fund.

The program is designed to provide businesses incentives to come to Nevada.

The original agreement with Cristek was signed with Douglas County on March 21, 2013.

Cristek employs 158 people at plants in Anaheim, Calif., and Lowell, Mass., and had been headquartered in Southern California.

In December, Governor’s Office of Economic Development Director Steve Hill told the Economic Forum that the state has granted tax abatements totaling $112.74 million to a long list of companies over the past two years.

He said those temporary tax breaks are generating an estimated $2.8 billion in capital investment by companies either expanding in Nevada or moving here and a total economic impact of potentially more than $7.8 billion.

Cristek was founded in 1985 to serve the military and aerospace industries. The company designs and sells a range of interconnect technologies. According to the governor’s office, the company has expertise in nanominiature and microminiature connector technology. The company manufactures in Southern California and New England.

Created in 2011, Nevada’s Catalyst Fund is designed to create high-quality, primary jobs in Nevada, the governor’s office said. The fund offers a tool to regional development authorities to assist their efforts to close deals with viable companies that will enhance the state’s economic sectors and offer stable jobs with good pay and benefits.

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The Record Courier Updated Jan 8, 2014 11:06AM Published Jan 8, 2014 11:06AM Copyright 2014 The Record Courier. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.