Vernon council to decide on its zone on Monday

Published: Friday, September 20, 2013 at 09:56 AM.

EBRO — The Ebro Town Council discussed expanding its Enterprise Zone Thursday night during a public hearing, while Vernon City Council is set to take up the topic again on Monday.

The Vernon City Council will decide whether or not to allow expansion of its existing Enterprise Zone down Moss Hill Road in an attempt to make the city more attractive to industry.

An Enterprise Zone is a state-created area for industrial or commercial development that offers incentives to businesses in order to create jobs. Those incentives include jobs creation tax credits, electrical energy tax credits, sales tax refunds for jobs creation and building materials, property tax credits for jobs creation and sales tax refunds for business equipment and machinery.

Last year the state Legislature passed a new law allowing counties to expand their Enterprise Zones, and Washington County will be allowed to expand its areas by three miles, which Washington County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Ted Everett plans to divide evenly between Ebro and Vernon.

Everett visited the Vernon council’s workshop on Monday to discuss possible expansion plans for Vernon’s Enterprise Zone as well.

Currently the city has its Enterprise Zone located mainly along Highway 79. Everett suggested the city council consider extending the zone an additional 1 ¾ mile, the amount by which he hopes to expand the zone, along Mossy Hill Road toward the high school.

Councilman Tray Hawkins explained that the school district owns property behind the school’s campus, which could potentially be purchased by the city and used as an industrial site.

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