By Rebecca Dopp
Mona City wants to be included in discussions pertaining to the expansion of the county enterprise zone.
Mayor Bill Mills—while addressing county commissioners at meeting December 17— said that although he appreciated the west side of Mona City being excluded from the expansion until they were able to weigh in on it, he felt that their concerns had not been taken into consideration and they did not know what was going on. He said they didn’t want to be getting their information from rumors and from reading about it in the newspaper.
“We’d just like to be brought up to date,” he said.
He felt that the county had already taken the city’s options away when the county approved a solar farm on the west side of the city.
“I don’t understand what good the enterprise zone is doing for the west,” he said. “I can understand the east because we will have to grow east and not west.”
He would like Brent Boswell, county economic development director, to come to Mona City and Planning Commission meetings to educate them on what is going on.
Rick Carlton, commissioner, said that his motion to exclude the west side was done specifically for the purpose of letting Mona City leaders get involved in the discussion.
“You’ve expressed interest in the past on being informed on any changes within your growth area,” said Carlton. “The council, in the past, likes to be involved in everything west out there, so that part can be included once you’re informed and have an understanding. Then it will be up to the new commissioners to get with you to maybe solidify including that piece in the enterprise zone. I think it’s something that would benefit the community, but that will be a decision that you’ll have to make since it’s in your growth pattern.”
Carlton is being replaced by Richard Hansen on the commission in January.
Mills agreed that it could be a benefit to Mona City. He wondered, if Mona agreed to including that piece, who would have control over it? Would Mona City still have control over what happened within its limits?
Clinton Painter, commission chairman, said that the enterprise zone excluded all cities within their own city limits. They would have to set up their own enterprise zones.
Carlton said that Mona City should have some input on what happens within their growth area, even though it is currently in the county. Businesses will be attracted to the enterprise zones because they will get a tax credit from the state. He felt that Mona City had expressed that they would like to drive businesses to the east.
“That’s something that Brent will be able to go over with you, what the advantages are,” Carlton said.
Byron Woodland, commissioner, said that he had been supportive of a county-wide enterprise zone because it would be beneficial to those involved with agriculture.
“I understand that it will drive businesses in that direction, and that’s a concern, but one of the reasons that I’m supporting it is those guys out there getting on their tractors, plowing and working the ground, it’s a benefit to them, too.”
Mills didn’t disagree with Woodland’s sentiments. He said that the city was not against businesses coming into Mona if it was beneficial to the city.
“So far, we haven’t benefited from anything going in out there in our growth area,” he said. “We need our income, and that’s one of the things we’re fighting for with the [natural] gas to Houweling’s, it’s an income for us. Mona needs that. We have nothing against business coming in as long as it’s controlled business.”
Glenn Greenhalgh, county planning commissioner, said that Houweling’s is already in its own enterprise zone. The excluded piece extends east of Houweling’s to the city limits.
Commissioners, and Greenhalgh, said they have tried to do a better job of keeping Mona City informed, but wanted to make the point that they had notified the council, through email, of these issues when they appeared on the agenda. Mona City has not always participated in these prior meetings.
“We’ll start attending more meetings so that way we will be more informed of what’s going on in our area,” said Mills.