Salem City Officials Invite Marion County Board to Join Effort to Extend and Expand City's Enterprise Zone
Animal Control Officer Wants Veterinarians to Be Mandated to Collect Dog Tag Fees
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Marion County Courthouse

Salem City Manager Bill Gruen and Economic Development Director Jeanne Gustafson came before the Marion County Board's Community Relations Committee Tuesday night to invite the county to join the effort to extend and possibly expand the land included in the city's enterprise zone.

Gustafson plans a number of meetings to develop a full economic development plan around the application.

"What our new boundaries are. Where you want the boundaries. We are going to be talking about what incentives are appropriate to offer. We are going to be talking about where our labor market is and what our expected work force shortages are going to be. Next week we are meeting with the Human Resource Directors. Our tax base how to improve long term economic development plans. So if you have an interest in it we would love to have you at the table. We want this to be a lot of engagement from people."

Gustafson notes with only two and a half square miles of land in the enterprise zone there is room to consider expansion to property that has good development potential. The zones can contain up to 12 square miles. The zones can provide a number of incentives for those building or expanding a business as well as possible residential development incentives.

The county committee wants to be notified of meetings and kept updated on the process.

In other action, the committee will recommend the county board take advantage of a new state law that allows the number of election judges in primaries to be cut from five to three.

County Animal Control Officer Ken Ferguson told the committee he has learned of at least one county that is now requiring vets to participate in collecting fees for mandated dog tags when vaccinating dogs. He notes while he has gained voluntary compliance with fee collection from 16 of the 18 vets he works with, two are refusing to collect the fees for dog tags.

Ferguson says Marion County is the only county he is aware of that provides a $4 processing fee to vets for each dog tag they sell. He has turned over the information he has gathered to State's Attorney Bill Milner for review.

Committee Chair Tabatha Meador said they would look at the issue once they have Milner's input.

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