Columbia Meeting to Inform Public on Enhanced Enterprise Zone Program
COLUMBIA - Tuesday night City Hall hosted an Enhanced Enterpirse Zone Public meeting. The meeting was the first of many upcoming informational and public forums to discuss the EEZ program.
Many questions have been raised about the EEZ statute that requires "blight" for an area to recieve a tax break.
Meeting officials stressed a lot of things can cause an area to be labeled blighted. Something as little as a defective sidewalk can allow an area to declare blight. In the state of Missouri there are 119 declared blight zones.
Mayor of Columbia Bob McDavid was pointed in saying there have been many successful EEZ programs along with defective ones. And he doesn't want people to lose sight of the goal.
"The main priority is jobs," said McDavid.
One area being looked at as a possible industrial expansion zone is Discovery Ridge off Interstate 63. President of the Regional Economical Development Inc. Mike Brooks discussed the specific appeal of Discovery Ridge.
"Discovery Ridge is extremely important. It is not unlike the reasearch reactor and the area around it. There is a lot of oppurtunity we believe."
McDavid said he expects more discussion before the council votes on the EEZ program in about a month.
A Columbia Leadership Council meeting is set for March 9th and is open for the public to ask questions.