Council discusses recreation board, Enterprise Zone at special workshop

Published: Tuesday, November 5, 2013 at 11:25 AM.

City Attorney Michelle Tagert said the city needs to have an ordinance setting the recreation board, along with bylaws that set the goals and tasks of the board.

Washington County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Ted Everett was also on hand to present the council with maps showing the current Enterprise Zone and discussed his plans to expand the zone.

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 Everett plans to divide evenly between Ebro and Vernon.

The Vernon City Council approved changing the Enterprise Zone during their Sept. 23 meeting, and Everett is working with engineer Garrett Martin of Atkins, an engineering firm located in Chipley, to create maps of the two Enterprise Zones.

“I think we should expand the Enterprise Zone north of the new bridge, and take the new mile and three-quarters of zone down Moss Hill Road toward the high school as far as it will go,” Everett said.

Everett said the Enterprise Zone legislation is set to expire in 2015, but the Legislature has extended the law setting the zones twice in the past. Everett said he expects the zones to be renewed in 2015. “If that happens, then we will be set until 2025,” Everett said.

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