Chester City Council met July 11.
Chester City Council met July 11.
Here is the minutes provided by the Council:
I. CALL TO ORDER
The City Council of Chester, Illinois, met in special session on Wednesday, July 11, 2018, in the Municipal Building, 1330 Swanwick Street. Mayor Tom Page called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m.
II. ROLL CALL
Present:Alderman Ray AllisonAlderman Dan Ohlau
Alderman Robert PlattAlderman Russ Rader
Alderman Donald ClarkAlderman D. Michael Blechle
Alderman Dan Geisen
Absent:Alderman Nancy Crossland
Discuss the Enterprise Zone Program:
Mayor Page introduced Keith Moran, President of Moran Economic Development, to explain the advantages of forming a Monroe-Randolph County Enterprise Zone. Mr. Moran advised the State of Illinois will award up to thirteen new Enterprise Zones this year and possibly eight next year with approximately a hundred in existence today. Enterprise Zones promote economic development by offering incentives to new and existing businesses. One major incentive is state sales tax exemption on building materials to be used in an Enterprise Zone.
Mr. Moran advised that Red Bud, Sparta, Randolph County, Monroe County, Waterloo, Columbia and Valmeyer have committed to the Monroe-Randolph County Enterprise Zone. The application process is very competitive and labor intensive. Moran Economic Development will complete the application for $6,000.00 from each committed entity but this does not guarantee the Enterprise Zone designation. Applications are due by December 2018 and will be awarded by September 2019. The awarded Enterprise Zones will go into effect in January 2020.
After Alderman Ohlau’s inquiry, Mr. Moran stated the Monroe-Randolph County Enterprise Zone will be fifteen square miles divided between the two counties. Mr. Moran advised that fifteen square miles is an adequate amount of space to cover both counties. Mr. Moran presented a map of locations throughout Chester for Enterprise Zone areas. Discussion ensued.
After several questions from the audience, Mr. Moran explained the application process and the benefits of combining both counties into one Enterprise Zone. The application requires ten qualifying factors and letters of support from local businesses. The city will be required to pass an Ordinance and Intergovernmental Agreement. Mr. Moran advised the counties typically serve as the administrator for the zone.
In order to qualify for the sales tax exemption incentive, a local business would be required to invest a minimum of $10,000.00 in their building. The business must apply for the incentive with the city and pay a small fee to take advantage of the incentive. The administrator of the zone (usually the county) will electronically file with the Department of Revenue for a sales tax exemption certificate for the business. The zone administrator will be compensated for administering the program. The businesses will be required to purchase the building supplies in Illinois.
After Shane Wagner’s inquiry, Mr. Moran advised that abatement of property taxes is not an incentive offered by the Enterprise Zone but can be adopted by the council after the zone is established.
Alderman Rader advised that the proposed Enterprise Zone locations in Chester need to be revised. The riverfront area floods frequently and would not be a good location for development. Mr. Moran advised that the proposed areas can be revised and noted that the whole fifteen square miles won’t be assigned initially. A small portion will be left unassigned to allow for expansion.