Providence Mayor Angel Taveras is set to announce later Wednesday a new agreement with Johnson & Wales University to increase the school’s voluntary contribution to the city budget. It would be the first deal the mayor has finalized with one of the large tax-exempts he’s targeting for $7.1 million.
One of the big questions will be, how is the agreement structured and how much more is JWU going to pay? All four private colleges in Providence – Brown, JWU, PC and RISD – already began making yearly payments to Providence under a 2003 deal struck with then-Mayor David Cicilline.
In JWU’s case, the 2003 deal calls for the school to pay Providence a total of $6.34 million from 2004 through 2023. This year’s payment is $308,890 and next year’s is slated to be $313,523. For comparison purposes, the other payments this year are $1.2 million from Brown; $264,262 from PC; and $175,784 from RISD.
The mayor is also expected to meet with Brown President Ruth Simmons on Wednesday to renew their talks.
Update: Still waiting for a more detailed description of the structure of the agreement, but here’s how the mayor’s office described what JWU will pay in a statement Wednesday:
The agreement at least triples JWU’s annual contributions to Providence, increasing the university’s annual payment from $308,890 this year under an existing 2003 memorandum of understanding to at least $958,000 each year with the potential for as much as $1.45 million annually.
In all, JWU will directly contribute an additional contribution of as much as $11.4 million to the City of Providence over the next 10 years, bringing the university’s total contribution to as much as $14.5 million over 10 years.
The agreement is structured with an upfront contribution from the university of as much as $5 million in accelerated payments to the city.
• Related: Taveras hammers retirees, tax-exempts in grim State of the City (Feb. 13)