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SE Illinois News

Thursday, November 21, 2019

City of Harrisburg City Council met October 15

By Kristine Gonzales-Abella | Nov 4, 2019

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City of Harrisburg City Council met Oct. 15.

Here is the agenda provided by the council:

The October 15, 2019 TIF meeting was called to order by Mayor John McPeek. Mayor John McPeek presided over the meeting with Commissioners Raymond Gunning, and Rupert Johnson. Commissioners Roger Angelly and Ron Morse was absent.

Keith Moran discussed the Enterprise Zone Map. He firm has been hired by Saline County Industrial to re-new the Enterprise Zone. The current Enterprise Zone has been around for more than thirty years. At this time, the Enterprise Zone is up for grabs for any community, municipality or county to get this zone. The application is submitted to DCEO. The Enterprise Zone is made up of ninety-seven zones and eight of them are available at this time. There is an application which is due December 31, 2019 and Keith Moran is working with Alene Carr to get it completed.

This gives us the ability to redraw the map as needed. The map can be expanded but it has to be specific. Most of the zone will remain the same, but there are other areas that could be in the Enterprise Zone. The benefits for the Enterprise Zone range from tax abatements and sales tax exemptions for building materials. When considering redrawing the map, we need to take large areas and incorporate them into the Enterprise Zone instead of the current small area. Commissioner Raymond Gunning asked if it was beneficial to put a business in the middle of a residential area. Should it remain residential or should there be a business in the middle the residential area? Mayor John McPeek said there is an area in Dorrisville and Dorris Heights that has potential for new businesses. Commissioner Raymond Gunning and Rupert Johnson both like the sales tax exemption to help with new business.

Keith Moran can make suggested changes and email it to everyone. Commissioner Raymond Gunning likes the idea of extending into Muddy. Attorney Kolby Smithpeters suggest putting the movie theater and the Wal-Mart area in the Enterprise Zone. Keith Moran will put as much of the potential development in the Enterprise Zone including the movie theater, add downtown, Route 45 and St. Mary’s Drive area. Commissioner Raymond Gunning would like to see the homes behind Tison and Hall annexed into the City. That area is not in the city limits. Mayor John McPeek stated Fairway Drive should be annexed in as well. Keith Moran will redraw the map and he asked Council to review the new map and let him know if they are in agreement with the new zone. Keith Moran would like the Ordinance for the Enterprise Zone to be passed at the next council meeting. Alene Carr will be presenting the Enterprise Zone Ordinance, Intergovernmental Agreement and the Resolution for Tax Abatement.

Keith Moran will email the frequently asked question report and a standard form letter of support. Alex Watkins from the Chamber of Commerce has graciously sent out and received letters of support from the community. The letters of support show some job creation numbers and how the company will invest into the community. Several projects have taken advantage of the Enterprise Zone such as Walgreens, Hillbilly Mud, Mach 1, Wooded Hills, Triad, RP Lumber, Citgo, etc. The Enterprise Zone will last twenty-five years.

Keith Moran discussed the potential Business District tax increase. The Council would want to consider what areas would be designated in the Business District. The sales tax money could be used for infrastructure, public safety, street improvements and beautification of the downtown area. This potential sale tax increase would not affect anything licensed to the State of Illinois business, groceries or medication. Keith Moran suggest doing the low-end of the sales tax. It is less of an impact to families while still obtaining additional revenue.

Mayor John McPeek made the motion to adjourn. Seconded by Commissioner Raymond Gunning. A roll call vote was taken with all present voting yes. Motion carried.

Adjourn: 3:08 p.m.

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City of Harrisburg