by Mark R. PotterRegional EditorAkron -- With a gleam of optimism, members of Summit County Council voted May 21 to approve a tax rebate for a retailer some believe could change the economic fortune of the county.With the potential construction of a new building, which could be located between Martha Avenue and Massillon Road, the Missouri-based Bass Pro Shops outdoor retailer could bring between 150 and 250 full-time jobs to the area, according to Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic, but officials say the retailer could spur other growth as well.Plusquellic told Council the deal has been in the works for some time, but company officials wanted to keep the deal out of the public sphere during the negotiation process."We believe this will pay off in a huge way," Plusquellic said. "[Summit County] has nothing but money to gain."Larry Whiteley, spokesperson for Bass Pro Shops, said the company is not yet prepared to make any official comment on the matter.In a special meeting called to deal with the issue, Council voted unanimously for a 10-year tax rebate for the company, which would get back 75 percent of its sale and use tax over that period.Plusquellic said that would equate to around $150,000 for 10 years (the company is expected to generate around $40 million in sales annually).Bringing in the retailer, Plusquellic said could be "critical to the economic viability of the Goodyear Campus redevelopment.""This could totally remake the east side of Akron. I hope Goodyear never leaves and this could help anchor them," Plusquellic said, adding the building would be visible from Interstate 76 in hopes of easy access for visitors both in and potentially outside the county and even the state.Councilmember Louise Heydorn said she has witnessed the impact Bass Pro Shops can have on a community with the creation of restaurants, hotels and more."It's like that baseball movie: if we build it, they will come," Heydorn said. "If you can imagine the Montrose area times around four -- this is a wonderful thing for us."Plusquellic said the deal, which first appeared before Council May 14, is still technically a "verbal agreement," partly so the legislation could take advantage of a law passed by the Ohio General Assembly which allows for an "impact facility" to receive such a rebate. The law is set to expire June 1, so Council needed to approve the rebate before then, Plusquellic said.According to the company's Web site www.basspro.com, there are 40 stores open across the United States including one in Toronto, Canada. E-mail: mpotter@recordpub.comPhone: 330-688-0088 ext. 3154