Google executives have picked a site in Council Bluffs for a new 600-million dollar "data center."
It’s essentially a "server farm" where thousands of computers will be housed — indoors — for use when folks on the Internet use Google to conduct a search of the web.
"There are many factors involved for the infrastructure and for a project like this, a lot of stuff isn’t already there," says Paul Froutan, Google’s director of operations. "All that stuff needs to be brought to the area, a lot of heavy construction, lots of very technology-intensive systems that go into these data centers."
Froutan says the support Google got from officials in Council Bluffs and in Des Moines helped seal the deal. "That kind of support is invaluable," he says.
Iowa officials enacted tax breaks for a company, like Google, that runs a huge server farm. For example, Google won’t be charged state sales taxes on any of the computers and related equipment it buys for the Council Bluffs facility, nor will Google have to pay sales taxes on its utility bills there. That’s a huge savings, as rooms filled with computer servers require huge amounts of air conditioning.
Up to 200 people will be employed at the facility.
Google is rehabbing a building that already sits on a 55 acre site in Council Bluffs, but plans to build another building nearby. The Google enterprise could eventually stretch over nearly 2000 acres in Council Bluffs.
(Tom Stanton from KFAB in Omaha contributed to this report.)