Where the Rails Cross the River
With the end of the year in sight, the City Council has a couple important items it is working on in hopes of completing them before January 1.
First, the long-awaited update to the City’s comprehensive plan will be considered for adoption in the next few weeks. During an ‘open house’ Thursday, Nov 6; 5:30 – 7:30 at the Chillicothe Public Library, local residents will have an opportunity to comment on the update. Those comments will be factored in to the next draft that will make its way to the City Council, most likely at its December 8 meeting.
The other major issue is adoption of an enterprise zone for some areas within Chillicothe. Enterprise zones across the State are expiring and must be renewed, along with possible adoption of new zones. Enterprise zones offer financial incentives for new construction or development. New zones will be created by the State of Illinois next year for 2016.
Unlike tax increment financing districts which are created for 20 years, enterprise zones can be for five years, making them more acceptable to local taxing bodies. Chillicothe – along with three other communities in Peoria County – would be part of a rural enterprise zone and give us some competitive advantages when it comes to residential and business growth. By itself, an enterprise zone may not spur major investments in new projects but it could be a helpful tool.
Chillicothe knows it must promote residential development to new residents if we hope to maintain an economically healthy community – for the good of our schools, our community center, parks, businesses – and yes, even residents. We want to make our community attractive to newcomers. It’s in all our interest to see that happen.