Historic City News reported a win for St Johns County last week when it was announced that Advanced Disposal will relocate its Southside offices, and estimated 85 jobs, to the former MDI Holdings building at 90 Fort Wade Road in Nocatee — now we learn that Jacksonville may be sore losers.
The official statement released from Advanced Disposal Chairman and CEO Charlie Appleby says if incentives had been approved more quickly in Jacksonville, he might be renovating space Downtown for corporate headquarters rather than relocating to St Johns County.
Coming to light now are inquiries by the chairman of the Jacksonville City Council Finance Committee, John Crescimbeni, asserting that Advance Disposal owes money to the City for unpaid landfill fees.
“Councilman Crescimbeni was doing what he thought was best, in his mind,” Appleby said. “I don’t fault him for doing what he thought was best.”
In an interview with the Daily News and Financial Record, Appleby told Managing Editor Karen Brune Mathis, “Those issues had nothing to do with our decision”.
Nonetheless, the timing of such allegations is well within the window of “sour grapes”.
Likewise, Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown, reportedly a “close friend” of Appleby, has interjected his dissatisfaction with the choice to relocate the company; who has operations in Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan and Minnesota.
“He told me I was wrong — and argued with me about it,” Appleby said. “The mayor is not shy about sharing the virtues of Duval County and Downtown.” That argument, reported between Appleby and Brown, again raises the “sore loser” appearance.
“He was very congenial — but he can be very persuasive,” Appleby commented. “I still have to go to the orthopedic surgeon to get my arm checked, because he was twisting it so hard.”
Advanced Disposal completed its $1.9 billion Veolia ES Solid Waste Inc. last month and acquired Interstate Waste Services, which tripled its size and led to the need for a headquarters facility.
The company was awarded an incentives deal just below $700,000 from St Johns County and $200,000 from the state sponsored Quick Action Closing Fund.
“Had the City of Jacksonville been capable of moving as quickly as St Johns County, we very likely would have been locating to the SunTrust building downtown.”