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Sedgwick County commissioners have voted to approve an economic incentive grant for a local company that is doubling its workforce.
NetApp, which provides data storage and management systems for a variety of businesses, recently announced plans to add 418 workers and invest $86 million for new equipment.
Commissioner Richard Ranzau voted against the agreement, saying that incentives don't help in creating jobs. He said the decision to expand in Wichita was made a year ago, and the money for incentives hurts the county's ability to provide services.
Commissioner Dave Unruh said he agreed with concerns over incentives, but the competition for new jobs and economic development is fierce among cities across the country, and it involves the use of incentives. Commissioner Karl Peterjohn voiced a concern about the unemployment numbers in the U.S. and said "we need some economic good news."
The vote was 4-1 in favor of the grant. The Wichita City Council gave its approval on Tuesday. The grant agreement has the city and county each providing up to $418,000 to NetApp, based on the new jobs that are created over the next five years.