County in Enterprise Zone application

The Fayette County Board approved on Tuesday documents confirming that the county wants to continue being a part of a group that can offer economic development incentives through a state program.
The board approved an ordinance “establishing unincorporated areas within Fayette County as an Enterprise Zone,” then approved an intergovernmental agreement between the cities of Vandalia and St. Elmo, and the villages of Ramsey and Brownstown.
The group that includes the county and those four municipalities was granted a 20-year Enterprise Zone designation in 1988. As that designation expires in two years, the Vandalia/Fayette County Enterprise Zone group must apply for a new designation.
The application will be for a 15-year designation, with a 10-year extension possible after that period.
The Vandalia City Council approved in February an agreement with the South Central Illinois Regional Planning and Development Commission to begin the process of preparing that application.
The state introduced the Enterprise Zone program in 1982 as a way of encouraging development in Illinois communities, by offering special incentives designed to encourage both the development of new business and industry, and the expansion of existing business and industry. The idea is to have those development and expansion projects create new jobs.
Incentives offered through the Enterprise Zone program include tax property tax abatements, sales tax exemptions for building materials, waiver of permit fees and targeting of public funds, such as grants, to zone areas.
Also at Tuesday’s meeting:
• The board approved a new Emergency Management Agency coordinator agreement, which runs from July 1 of this year through June 30 of next year.
Through the agreement Kendra Craig and Kylie Depew, employees of the Fayette County Health Department, serve as the coordinator and assistant coordinator of the county’s EMA.
The agreement calls for the coordinator to work within the EMA program 17.5 hours per week, and to be on call for emergencies at all times.
The county reimburses the health department for the coordinator each quarter, with the reimbursement to be equal to a quarter of all county EMA grants.
• The board approved the high bids on vehicles sold by the county sheriff’s department: 2001 Ford F150 truck, Tim Sheldon, $2,550; 2001 Ford Explorer, Kathleen Wright, $1,001; 2008 Crown Victoria, Jeff Crooker, $1,256; 1993 Cadillac Seville (junk title) Ryan Kraemer, $229; 1997 Chevrolet Monte Carlo, Ryan Kraemer, $229; and 2003 Mercury Marauder, Jeff Crooker, $2,671.
The department also was selling a 317 John Deere mower, but it did not receive any bids for that piece of equipment.
• The board approved the appointment of John Glennon and Beth Hoffman, both of Vandalia, to the Fayette County Board of Health, and the reappointment of Sandra Albright of St. Elmo, Kris Luster of Ramsey and Darrell Schaal of St. Peter to the board of health.
Glennon, Hoffman, Albright and Luster were appointed to three-year terms that expire on June 30, 2019, and Schaal will continue to serve as the county board’s representative for one year.
• The board approved preliminary engineering agreements with Rhutasel and Associates of Centralia for bridge-replacement projects in Wheatland, Loudon, Ramsey and Vandalia townships.
• The board approved a resolution stating that the county clerk’s office will not perform on Nov. 8 any duties other than those pertaining to the general election.
• The board approved a resolution stating that it “reaffirms ‘In God We Trust’ as the official motto of the United States, and supports and encourages the public display of the national motto throughout Fayette County.
• The board approved a contract with MailFinance for postage meter services.
County Clerk Vicky Conder said that MailFinance’s bid, the lowest of two received by the county, includes an installation fee of $1,340 and a monthly fee of $144 for 36 months.
• The board approved the one-year renewal of a liquor license for the Vandalia Lake Club (Shrine Club).
• Sheriff Chris Smith informed the board that his department is mandated by the federal government to have all of its employees who have any type of contact with county inmates complete Prison Rate Elimination Act training.
Smith said that the department is required to have all of those employees complete the two-day training by August. If it does not, the department can lose both federal funding and the opportunity to house federal inmates.
“It will skyrocket overtime,” Smith told board members, explaining how it will impact his budget.

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