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Wellmark agrees to repay state development funds


The Des Moines City Council will vote tonight on whether to approve a settlement agreement between the Iowa Economic Development Authority and Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield in which the insurer will repay a portion of a state grant that helped the company build its corporate headquarters on Grand Avenue. Wellmark said it would create 63 jobs at the corporate campus when it won nearly $10 million in state grants and loans. Instead, the company created 53, and as a result has agreed to return about $160,000, retain the 53 jobs for an additional five years; waive the right to any investment tax credits that were unclaimed as of Feb. 29; and cap the amount of the sales tax refunds to be received at $3 million, according to a city document. The council must vote on the settlement because it sponsored Wellmark’s application for state benefits.

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