Google to Build Server Farm in Lenoir, N.C.

Server farm estimated to cost $600 million

Commerce Department officials approved a separate grant for the company, and Google can apply for more tax credits. State concessions could exceed $96 million over 30 years. County and city leaders had no estimate for their enticements. All depend on how much Google builds.

"The way we see incentives is really a way to level the playing field," Taylor said.

With the concessions provided by state and local governments, Taylor said, Lenoir made sense.

Some critics worry that leaders went too far. "I'm afraid we gave away the farm," said Timothy J. Rohr, a member of the Lenoir city council.

"I'm philosophically opposed to economic development incentive grants," he said. " ... Everyone else in the community is going to have to take up the slack."