The Enhanced Enterprise Zone Board held their annual meeting Tuesday, Oct. 22 at the Economic Development Sedalia-Pettis County offices at US Bank, and appointed three members to five-year terms.
Jo Lynn Turley was appointed to the Central Zone, Rusty Kahrs was appointed to the North Zone and JoAnn Martin was appointed to the South Zone of the EEZ.
Turley, along with Brad Pollitt, were appointed as new members to the board. Turley will complete former board member (and former City Councilwoman) Susan Collins’ term, which expires Dec. 31.
Pollitt, who now serves as Sedalia School District 200 superintendent, will complete former District 200 Superintendent Dr. Harriett Wolfe’s term on the EEZ board, which expires Dec. 31, 2016.
As of June 30, 45 companies have been approved for EEZ benefits since the first zone (Central) was created on Nov. 20, 2005. The South Zone, created July 13, 2011, has seen 10 companies approved. So far, no companies in the North Zone have been approved for EEZ status.
The North and South zones were formed two months after the devastating tornado that hit Sedalia on May 25, 2011. Six companies have been approved for EEZ status as a result, with $2,937,897.11 in investments and 26 jobs created with a starting wage of $22,876.54. Linda Christle, EEZ Zone coordinator, noted that 31 jobs were retained in that zone affected by the tornado. “We worked with those six companies, they had 31 jobs that were retained,” she said.
Overall, 1,644 jobs have been created in the EEZ since 2005, with cumulative annual wages of $66,532,237.49. Those 45 companies have collectively invested $231,505,069.30 since 2005.
The Central Zone is responsible for $226,901,598.09 of that figure. In the most recent fiscal year ending June 30, the Central Zone invested $42,071,046.81 and created 256 jobs with an average starting wage of $40,755.20.
The EEZ is quite popular and Christle does receive a lot of requests for EEZ status, which includes tax credits and abatements. “Without the EEZ, we would not have been able to do what we did,” several companies have told her. “Having a new company come in and be able to help them somewhat, along with tax credits at the state level, if they so choose, gives them enough to survive and thrive,” Christle said.