With Pinnacle board members meeting tonight and the next two days, mayor A C Wharton presented millions in incentives to the City Council's executive committee today to persuade the airline to stay in Memphis.
"There is nobody on this body who does not believe that we're not committed to keeping Pinnacle here in Memphis," said City Council chair Harold Collins. "You go to that meeting today at 5:15 and you assure them they have our support, whatever they need. ... We will work with them. That's our goal."
News recently came out that Mississippi was wooing Pinnacle, and members of the Center City Commission and the city administration began working to both keep the company in Memphis and lure them to downtown's One Commerce Square.
Though supportive, council members had some qualms. With $15 million of the $18 million in incentives coming from federal stimulus funds, councilman Jim Strickland asked for a complete list of where stimulus funds have been spent. The other $3 million would come from a city economic development fund.
Wharton said that though this came up at the last minute, he plans to look at what the city's competitors are doing and bring a proposal to the council during the next budget cycle.
"I do think we should put money in the bank, so we're not scrounging around when these opportunities arise," said Barbara Swearengen Ware.