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Prevailing wage and enterprise zones addressed by Adams County Board

11 months ago by Denise Donley

Zones are set to expire in 2015

Enterprise zones and prevailing wage were the hot topics of Tuesday night’s Adams County Board meeting.

Great River Economic Development Foundation President Marcel Wagner discussed with the board the enterprise zone for the area that expires in July 2015.

An enterprise zone is an area in which incentives such as tax concessions are offered to encourage business investment and provide jobs for the residents.

If the 2015 expiration date arrives with no extension or other option, the benefits would be lost.

Wagner said he doesn’t understand why the state approved the enterprise zones to expire.

“It doesn’t make any sense to get rid of the zones. We need to find better ways to match the jobs that are available here to other places,” said Marcel. “Some legislators don’t even understand the whole depth of this. They are taking one of the key tools that we have as a community. We need to have an application ready by the end of 2014 for a new zone.”

Marcel also reviewed the strategic and business plan that GREDF presented to the community last week.

In other business, the Board approved a resolution that opposed the adoption of the amended prevailing wage act.

Jim Frankenhoff, County Engineer, said it would require a lot of extra work.

“It would require contractors to do public works projects to have apprenticeship programs approved by the Federal Department of Labor. From what I know, they are very limited,” said Frankenhoff. “The others parts are retention of payroll records by the contractors and the public entities are increased and additional paperwork in regards to employment, gender, race, etc.  are expanded.”

The Board authorized the surveying of floodplains of Curtis Creek Tributaries and that the County Board Chairman may sign any professional service agreements with Poepping, Stone, Bach and Associates & Klingner and Associates.

This was brought to light to correct the FEMA flood maps that were issued. The last time the maps were drawn up was in 2011. The cost will be around $55,000, which comes from the GIS funds.

The county code was also amended, allowing the Adams County Sheriff to select possible employees from a larger pool.  Those who apply for a position with the Sheriff’s office must take a test. Previously, the Sheriff was only allowed to pick from the top three applicants who did the best on the test. This caused applicants who were good candidates for the job, but just didn’t test well to be overlooked. However, the Sheriff can now choose from the top 50% of the class, rather than just the top three test takers.

The County’s natural gas contract with Tilex will expire in March. Bids will be put out for other companies soon.

Additional fund appropriations were made for the coroner and probation departments. A grant was appropriated for $4,635 in death certificate surcharges and $6,000 for building maintenance at the detention center that wasn’t able to be completed last year.

Five members were absent from the 21 member board Tuesday night.


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