With Bond Help, Gerber Products to Create 40 New Jobs

Gerber Products has grown its expansion plans for Fort Smith and intends to create 40 additional jobs, after receiving approval of a $150 million revenue bond package from the city’s board of directors.

Fort Smith approved a $90 million package in 2010 to help expansion that was expected to create 50 jobs on Gerber’s cereal manufacturing line. Geber asked for an amended bond package to accommodate additional growth of the operation.

City administrator Ray Gosack, in a memo circulated to the board before the vote, said Gerber is "solely responsible for the debt service payment on the bonds" and Fort Smith has "no obligation to make bond payments."

Bond payments will serve to reduce Gerber's property taxes by about 35-percent over 12 years.