Enhanced enterprise zones
The Regional Economic Development Inc. Board of Directors voted Wednesday to ask the Columbia City Council to rescind an ordinance that established the Enhanced Enterprise Zone Advisory Board.
The Columbia City Council unanimously approved a charter amendment that prevents the city from exercising eminent domain for economic development with the intention of transferring the property to private entities.
The conference is intended as a way to improve the Imagine Columbia's Future plan made in 2008. Topics to be discussed will include protecting historic neighborhoods, neighborhood revitalization and green technologies.
Columbia residents meet with representatives of Regional Economic Development Inc. and the chair of a city advisory board in an informational session designed to answer questions and gather input on new proposed boundaries for Enhanced Enterprise Zones.
Although the Columbia City Council took no action related to the establishment of an enhanced enterprise zone Monday, opponents staged a demonstration before the meeting.
Regional Economic Development Inc. is pushing for an Enhanced Enterprise Zone in Columbia. These documents relate to the EEZ in Columbia.
Columbia resident Linda Green feels the evidence in support of EEZs is scant and that their implementation in Columbia could lead to economic trouble.
At its first meeting on Friday morning, the Enhanced Enterprise Zone Board saw new maps of a proposed enhanced enterprise zone in Columbia. It also decided to consider more recent census data and public input.
The Columbia City Council voted Monday to establish a new advisory board for the planned enhanced enterprise zone. Mayor Bob McDavid announced his appointees to the new board.
The EEZ Board ordinance will come before the Columbia City Council for a second time Monday night. There will be a public hearing before the council votes on the ordinance.
Proponents say an enhanced enterprise zone could bring manufacturing jobs to Columbia. However, a 2010 state audit found that promises of jobs and investment related to Missouri's EEZ program were inaccurate and often overstated.
Some citizens are concerned that 12-year-old demographic data might paint an inaccurate portrait of Columbia and Boone County. The city's population has grown about 30 percent from 2000 to 2010.
Regional Economic Development Inc. began to look into the possibility of an enhanced enterprise zone in early 2011. It first came before the City Council in January, and the council will consider re-establishing an EEZ board at its meeting on Monday.
Columbia group would seek removal of City Council members who vote to reform enhanced enterprise zone board
Columbia residents worry about property values and eminent domain in neighborhoods designated as blighted. Proponents of an enhanced enterprise zone insist the worries are unfounded and that the city needs to offer incentives to attract manufacturing jobs.
Business that locate or expand within an enhanced enterprise zone are eligible for a number of economic incentives. To date, there are 199 such zones in Missouri.
At a short special session Wednesday, the City Council heard the first reading of an ordinance that would establish an Enhanced Enterprise Zone Advisory Board.
The City Council voted unanimously Monday evening to rescind a blight decree that was needed to establish an enhanced enterprise zone.
The citizens group that formed to oppose an enhanced enterprise zone for Columbia wants the City Council to rescind a Feb. 6 resolution declaring much of the city blighted.
The Enhanced Enterprise Zone Board addressed weeks of public disgruntlement at its Friday meeting, which resulted in a map six census blocks smaller and a resolution to disassociate eminent domain and blight.