City approves incentive deal to bring 600 new jobs to city

Zephyrhills has approved a deal with a major manufacturer to build a $233 million facility at the Airport Industrial Park that will bring 600 to the city.

Monday night, City Council approved an incentive package worth more than $8 million to bring Bauducco Foods to build its facility on 72 acres in the industrial park. Pasco County Commissioners are expected to stamp its approval on a deal tomorrow.

Bauducco Foods, based in Brazil, will use the Zephyrhills facility to produce and distribute its baked goods across the US. Bauducco produces panettones, biscuits, wafers and bread.

The agreement Council approved requires Bauducco to construct a minimum of 403,000 square feet of light industrial manufacturing and create 600 new jobs to the City of Zephyrhills within the first six years. Also, 120 of those jobs will have an average annual wage of at least $46,000.00 plus the City will have access to examine the company documents that relate to the terms of this agreement.

 In exchange for the construction and job creation, the City will waive/reimburse up to $331,000 in transportation impact fees and waive/reimburse up to $660,750 in permit fees The City will offer a Job Creation Incentive grant equal to the amount of 50 percent of ad valorem taxes for the first 10 years after receipt of the Certificate of Occupancy.

With this project on the horizon for months, $991,750 has been budgeted for 2023-24 budget to cover the economic incentives of permit fees and transportation impact fees.  Funding in the amount, not to exceed $7,281,250.00 will be budgeted in the appropriate future years for job creation.

Councilman Charlie Proctor, who has been outspoken about budget matters, put his stamp of approval on the incentive package.

“I’ve always had a problem with giving stuff away,” Proctor said. “In this particular case, it will benefit the citizens to add 600 well-paying jobs. I think the city, so we can benefit the citizens, we can take a hit to bring in those jobs. In the long run, we’ll make that up.”

City Manager Billy Poe informed members of council that the property was part of the county and brought no revenue to the city. It has since been annexed and will provide the city with property tax revenue to fund other city projects.

Zephyrhills was competing with other areas of the country for the major manufacture. Thanks to partnerships with Duke Energy and the Pasco EDC, the property at the Zephyrhills Airport Industrial Park through was marketed through two separate site evaluation programs. Dennis Group was the site selection consultant on the project.

Stefano Mozzi, CEO of Bauducco USA, attended Monday’s City Council meeting thanking the city for working so diligently to make this possible.

“Due to the business-friendly environment and the support and professionalism we received from the business development teams in the state, county and the city, as well as the great location, we decided to make Zephyrhills our new and main production hub for the U.S.A. market,” Mozzi said.

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