Committee members present were David Hepler, Pat O’Neill, Kevin
Bateman, Robert Farmer, David Blankenship and Jan Schumacher. Zoning
Officer Will D’Andrea was also present.
For the past several months, Zoning Officer Will D’Andrea has been
working on drafting language for subdivision legislation on behalf
of Logan County. D’Andrea presented the latest draft to the
committee members Wednesday evening for said members to review.
D’Andrea said he has been working with county engineer Bret Aukamp
to gain feedback from the township road commissioners in central
Illinois on the drafted language. D’Andrea said he will be attending
the next meeting of the road commissioners to work on more specific
details, such as connectivity and sidewalks.
D’Andrea said the next step would likely be to send the draft out to
consultants and engineering firms for review and additional
Board member Jan Schumacher suggested sending such a copy to the
Farm Bureau. Kevin Bateman added that the various towns and
townships should also have a chance to review the material. David
Hepler added that it might be a good idea to contact groups such as
Rural Fire Departments and other similar organizations.
“We’ve put a lot of hours into this, and I’m kinda proud of it. We
need to keep moving forward in the right direction,” said Bateman.
Enterprise Zone Legislation
In recent years, the state government of Illinois decided to remove
the Enterprise Zone program currently in place and start again from
scratch. D’Andrea told the committee members that he had recently
attended a conference where more of the details concerning the
application process were explained, but not everything was covered
in great detail at the conference.
“Our Zone is going to expire in 2017,” said D’Andrea. “They’re
emphasizing that there are no existing Zones [after the current ones
expire]. Anyone applying will apply for a brand new zone
D’Andrea said the new criteria will completely replace the old
criteria. DCEO (or the Department of Commerce and Economic
Opportunity) will score the applications, but ultimately the
decision to approve will come from an advisory board of five people.
Four of the members will represent collar county areas, and one will
represent the downstate areas. This board will approve a maximum
number of ninety-seven zones.
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D’Andrea said that the first round of applications will be
filed by the end of this year in order to possibly be approved
in 2016. The zone occupied by Logan County will not be eligible
to apply until 2015. Each year, there will be a maximum number
of eligible approvals, which will total ninety-seven.
said that new applicants would also have to compete with those who
did not receive a zone in the previous year, should they apply
again. D’Andrea said speakers at the conference emphasized the
state’s focus on competition.
“They almost scrapped the program,” said D’Andrea.
D’Andrea also explained a term called the Local Labor Market Area
(or LLMA). Eight of the 10 eligibility tests involve the LLMA. The
LLMA can be defined as an area of economic activity. This could
involve areas people commute to and from for work or other
“The Enterprise Zone cannot go outside of your defined LLMA,” said
D’Andrea, who added that the LLMA can exceed the proposed zone, and
is defined by the applicant. The LLMA cannot cross state borders.
D’Andrea explained that an applicant only needs to fulfill three of
the 10 requirements, but the advisory board is not required to award
a zone due to scoring. “They kept saying it’s like applying to
college and taking the SAT’s. Your SAT’s are only one component of
admission. Nobody has an idea what the other components are,” said
D’Andrea. “You may score a 410 [out of a maximum of 420 points] and
not even get awarded.” D’Andrea also said that each test was rated
on a scale that nobody else has seen yet.
D’Andrea also said that either a city or a county functions as an
applicant. An existing zone cannot apply of its own accord, and that
any of these entities will need to keep this mind for the next
[By DEREK HURLEY]