County board discusses renewing enterprise zone

County board discusses renewing enterprise zone

CARLINVILLE (July 12, 2018) – Macoupin County Enterprise Zone Administrator Mary Beth Bellm informed the county board Tuesday night, July 10, that the county’s enterprise zone expires Dec. 31, 2020, so she recommends they begin the process of applying to renew it.

Bellm explained that the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity approves only a limited number of applications each year; that number, which varies from year to year, is released in September, and entities have until Dec. 31 to apply. Those applications are then reviewed, and the following August it is announced which ones are approved, before the process starts anew. As a result of this process, and in particular because of not knowing how many applications will be approved, Bellm recommended the board work toward applying in 2018. That way, if the application is rejected this year, they have another year to adjust the application and apply again, without having a gap year during which the enterprise zone does not exist. If they aren’t approved the second year as well, then they can continue to apply every year, but there would be a gap without an active enterprise zone.

The board will vote at the August meeting whether or not to apply this year.

Other discussion

In accordance with new state regulations, the board approved an ordinance establishing predictable recording fees, to go into effect Oct. 1. The new regulations no longer allow the county to charge for extra pages, extra references to other documents, etc.

The new fees for standard documents are as follows: deed, $71; easement, $71; lease, $69; mortgage, $76; and miscellaneous, $69. For non-standard documents (unusual paper sizes, more than five parcels, more than five references to other documents, etc.), the fees are deed, $83; easement, $83; lease, $81; mortgage, $88; and miscellaneous, $81. The fees were determined based on a three-year average for those document types.

Relatedly, the board agreed to seek applicants for a Geological Information Systems manager, who would be responsible for approving legal descriptions on deeds, reviewing all plats, etc. Funding for the position will come from the GIS Fund and not affect the General Fund negatively; in fact, due to the changes in the recording fee structure, it could potentially increase funds for the General Fund because any documents that are recorded that would cause a property split would be considered non-standard documents and thus generate an extra $12 fee. Applications will be accepted until July 31.

In other action, the board approved the minutes of the June 12 board meeting and the July committee meetings; appointed John Bunk to the Central Rural Water District Board (to replace Dennis Jordan, who resigned in March) for a term ending May 1, 2019, and Hubert Watt to the same board for a term ending May 1, 2020; approved the appointment of additional election judges for 2018-20; accepted a collective bargaining agreement with the sheriff’s union regarding wages and insurance for Fiscal Year 2018-19; approved a resolution increasing the Sheriff’s Department General Fund appropriations by $53,000 for the sheriff line item and $3,000 for the jail line item to get the department through to the end of the fiscal year; approved amending the county food sanitation ordinance in accordance with new state requirements; and approved the tentative budget for the 2018-19 General Fund and Special Funds, with the final budget to be approved in August.