Piper Delays taking Incentive Money

 - January 27, 2009, 6:17 AM

Vero Beach, Fla.-based Piper Aircraft late last month confirmed that it laid off 150 employees, company CEO Jim Bass told Indian River County commissioners at a general meeting. Further, Bass said Piper could cut more personnel “if it gets worse,” adding that the manufacturer could reduce its production output by up to 40 percent this year due to the slowdown in sales of general aviation aircraft. He also told local officials that Piper will seek future installments of the $32 million county and state incentive package “at an undisclosed later date.” Local and state authorities came up with the multimillion-dollar incentive package last year to keep Piper from moving its headquarters and PiperJet manufacturing activities away from Vero Beach. Piper accepted the first installment of $10.667 million last year and is using that money to hurricane-proof its buildings and for tools and equipment.