Facebook’s move to Menlo Park late last year has created a small windfall for one of the richest communities on the Peninsula.
The town of Atherton, a wealthy enclave near the new Facebook campus, received $350,000 from the social media giant last month to allay its concerns over increased traffic.
Now the question for the town of 7,000 people is what to do with the cash.
“We’re not in a big hurry to spend the money,” said Atherton Mayor Bill Widmer. “We have a number of issues we’re looking at.”
The payment is the smallest Facebook has made to appease its new hometown and neighboring communities.
East Palo Alto, one of the poorest cities in the region, received $650,000 from Facebook to compensate for increased congestion on its streets.
Menlo Park, meanwhile, received $1.1 million to finance street improvements and other projects to handle the thousands of employees working at the new location.
Facebook also will pay Menlo Park at least $8.5 million over the next 10 years to offset the loss of local sales taxes formerly generated by Sun Microsystems, the computer software company that used to occupy the space Facebook now calls home. Menlo Park does not levy a sales tax on online advertisements, a major source of revenue for Facebook.
Facebook, which moved from its Palo Alto location last year, employs roughly 2,500 people in Menlo Park. In coming years, it hopes to have 9,400 employees at the new site and a planned campus nearby. The company expects to break ground on the new facility next year and complete it by 2015.