City and County to Work Together to Land New Enterprise Zone

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Published on June 16 2014 5:57 pm
Last Updated on June 16 2014 6:09 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

Effingham city and county officials huddled Monday as they begin efforts to land a new city-county enterprise zone.

The zones can make tax abatements and other incentives available to new or expanding business and industry. The City and County have shared an enterprise zone since 1988, but the State has decided to make fewer zones available, and is asking all local governments to reapply for a zone. The applications are to be submitted in 2015 with a promised award of new zones by the State in 2016.

County Board Vice-Chairman Dave Campbell told the Board Monday that he and other county officials met with city leaders Monday to start the process toward applying for a new zone. Campbell said there was some talk of expanding the size of the zone.

Also Monday, County Supervisor of Assessments Pam Braun reported that the County has been assigned a tentative multiplier of "one", an indication from the State that property in the county is being properly assessed. Braun said the tentative multiplier should move the tax cycle along. She said the cycle is currently "three to four weeks behind last year."

County Board members approved two replacements on the County 911 Board. Johnathan Paholke of the Shumway Fire Protection District and County Health Department Administrator Rebecca Merten were named to the 911 Board as at-large members. They will succeed Norbert Soltwedel and Terry White.

The Board approved an amended project to replace, rather than repair, a box culvert carrying a road over a tributary in Mason Township. Initially, the repair project was estimated to cost $5,000, but the replacement work will cost $14,000. County Engineer Greg Koester said the project deteriorated to the point repairs won't solve the problem. Koester said the road is closed for now.

Also, the County Board:

--approved moving the Douglas 8 and 9 polling places to the St. Anthony's Memorial Hospital Auditorium, and moving the Watson 1 and 3 polling places to the County EMA Building on Miracle Avenue to provide more space, make it more convenient for a majority of the voters, and allow easier access

--agreed to seek grant funds for the county public transportation system

--donated $3,000 in hotel/motel tax funds to the Effingham County Fair Board to help cover security costs

--allocated funds from the personal property replacement taxes to various budget items

--agreed to let the county generators be used at the Relay for Life event in Teutopolis in July, and at the County Fair

--approved the prevailing wage for contracted work for county governmental entities

--created a $3,000 line item in the budget for a part-time employee in the County Emergency Management Agency 

--heard that the sheriff's department has renewed its eligibility list and received 34 applicants for any future job openings

--honored Cindy Deters on her 25-year service anniversary with the County Health Department and Kathy Thoele on her retirement from the Health Department

(TWO COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT HONOREES AT MONDAY'S COUNTY BOARD MEETING; CINDY DETERS FOR 25 YEARS' SERVICE AND KATHY THOELE ON HER RETIREMENT FROM THE DEPARTMENT)

The County Board also took time to recognize the Altamont and Teutopolis softball teams for their success at their state tournaments earlier this month, as well as the junior high and high school athletes who did well at the State Track Meets.