Mayor Ezard discusses the city’s involvement with JREDC, reapplying for enterprise zone

By Gary Scott on January 12, 2018 at 7:55am

The City of Jacksonville approved another five-year commitment to the Jacksonville Regional Economic Development Corporation at Monday’s city council meeting.

The commitment to the JREDC is an annual item for Jacksonville aldermen to consider. Earlier this week, the council voted in favor of working with the organization for another five years, with a number of goals and initiatives the city hopes to help the JREDC accomplish.

Jacksonville Mayor Andy Ezard says that while finding a quality replacement for Ellis is a priority for the JREDC, it is not the top priority heading in 2018.

“Our main initiative this year will be to re-up on our Illinois Enterprise Zone Program, so that’s a very difficult process. When I say re-up on our enterprise zone, we’ve had that for a number of years and basically what we’re doing is starting from the beginning. We’ll lose out enterprise zone at the end of 2018 so we’re going to attempt to put a good application together with a good consultant that the city has worked with. We feel confident that they can help us and lead us to a good application, then we’ll take it to the state and hope that we get re-upped on our enterprise zone,” Ezard explains.

According to Ezard, the city is working with the consulting team Peckham Guyton Albers & Viets, Inc., or PGAV, which the city already uses to consult for their TIF district.

The Mayor talks about the importance of the JREDC to the area, as well as the importance of the relationship between the organization and the city.

“I was very happy that the city council again chose to re-up on their five-year commitment with the JREDC. We’ve been an investor with that organization since day one and the largest investor. As it continues to grow and expand its services to try and create and maintain jobs in Morgan and Scott County, it’s important that we (recommit to the five-year plan) and be a major player in economic development in this area,” say Ezard.

The Illinois Enterprise Zone Program is geared towards stimulating economic growth and neighborhood revitalization in certain areas in Illinois through state and local tax incentives, providing relief on certain regulations, and helping to improve governmental services.