Jeff Doherty

Doherty

The Jackson County-Murphysboro-Carbondale enterprise zone could welcome three new projects in the county’s incentive program for economic development.

The enterprise zone was established in 1990 by the state and is an incentive for economic development, providing abatements for property taxes and sales tax for materials that are involved in improving a property, said Jeff Doherty, executive director of the Jackson County Growth Alliance.

If a property is accepted into the enterprise zone, 100 percent of its property taxes on the new improvement are abated for the first five years after the project is completed. Starting with the sixth year, 50 percent of property taxes are abated until year 10.

Gary Williams, economic development coordinator for the city of Carbondale, said the upside to the enterprise zone is that it doesn’t take away any taxes that the taxing bodies are currently receiving.

One of the major projects in the enterprise zone is the investment of a major agriculture firm. The firm is proposing a facility in northwest Jackson County.

Doherty said the facility proposed will be able to hold one million bushels of grain in silos and another two million bushels on the ground in Cora.

The facility would be located along Illinois 3, just before Randolph County.

Doherty said the facility would cater to a 50- to 75-mile radius for farmers to come and sell their grain. It would be an investment of about $22 million to $25 million in Jackson County and would create about 12 full-time jobs.

Williams said the facility would save farmers in Jackson County time and money.

“It will help out on all their bottom lines,” he said. “It will cut down on the travel and fuel costs.”

He said the facility will also help out those taxing bodies in northwest Jackson County.

“This will be a huge influx of property tax revenue for those taxing bodies in Jackson County in year six,” Williams said.

The developers would like to be in operation by next fall, said Doherty.

The other projects involve the Southern Illinois Airport, which trying to acquire property as an incentive for more businesses to plant roots at the airport, said Doherty.

Southern Illinois Airport also has three applications out for a marijuana cultivation plant, which Williams said the airports hopes could be a part of the enterprise zone.

Walker’s Bluff Winery is also making changes and wants to use the enterprise zone to help with costs.

Doherty said the winery wants to expand to include a family resort and entertainment center.

dustin.duncan@thesouthern.com

618-351-5823

on twitter: @zd2000

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Dustin Duncan is a reporter for The Southern Illinoisan covering Carbondale.

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