As Hewlett-Packard nears its deadline for meeting its employment requirement, a company representative declined to say how many people work at its Rio Rancho facility.

According to the 2008 Local Economic Development Act Ordinance and Project Participation Agreement, the City of Rio Rancho provided HP more than $2.2 million in incentives to locate in Rio Rancho. The incentives included the city waiving impact and other fees, leasing the site at City Center and providing reimbursement for grading the land.

In return, HP promised to build the 218,000-square-foot office building, occupy it for at least 15 years and employ at least 1,350 full-time employees at the site by the end of 2012, with the goal of having about 1,800 workers. Hewlett-Packard announced layoffs earlier this year but wouldn’t say if Rio Rancho employees were affected.

Thursday, HP spokesman Michael Thacker said he couldn’t confirm the number of Rio Rancho employees or if the company would have the agreed-upon number.

“We are abiding by the agreement, and we will continue to work with the mayor’s office,” he said.

Mayor Tom Swisstack said HP’s Rio Rancho employment would be measured each quarter throughout 2013, not on Dec. 31, 2012. He said he didn’t yet know if the company would meet the requirement.

Agreement penalty

If the company doesn’t have enough workers in Rio Rancho, it must pay a penalty based on a “clawback” formula.

For example, city spokesman Peter Wells said, if Hewlett-Packard is 10 percent short of 1,350 employees, it would pay the city almost $16,500.

HP would have to pay a penalty for each successive year it fell below the employment requirement for the remainder of the 15-year agreement.