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MATTOON -- The Coles County Enterprise Zone has long offered incentives for industrial and manufacturing development but could be adjusted to also promote retail, commercial and service businesses.

The Mattoon City Council voted Tuesday evening to support efforts by the county's Coles Together economic development organization to renew and adjust the enterprise zone, which provides property tax abatements and other incentives for businesses that locate or expand with the zone's territory.

Angela Griffin, president of Coles Together, said the adjustment is needed so that Coles County can be competitive with neighboring counties that provide incentives for retail, commercial and service growth.

Griffin said Coles Together is preparing to submit an application to the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity for the renewal of the enterprise zone, which is set to expire on Dec. 31, 2020. She said the application will request that the zone be renewed for 15 years with a possible 10 year extension.

In other matters, Public Works Director Dean Barber said Marshall Avenue from Ninth to 14th streets was reopened to through traffic today following the completion of road surface reconstruction work there. He said related grading and seeding on the boulevard will be completed in the spring.

Barber said the reconstruction project included the construction of new dedicated storm sewer lines that will collect runoff from Marshall and side streets to the north without flowing into sanitary sewer lines. He said city could eventually expand its dedicated storm sewer lines north in this neighborhood to collect runoff from Charleston and Broadway avenues.

The council also voted to hire the Clark-Dietz engineering firm for $46,490 to complete a cost study of disinfection options at the wastewater treatment plant. Barber said the state is now requiring that wastewater plants disinfect treated water before releasing it. He said the study will consider the effectiveness of chlorine and ultra violet disinfection options.

Other actions taken by the council included:

-- Allocating a $1,000 hotel/motel tax fund grant to the CALMafia Regional Californian Rabbit & Specialty Club for hosting the Mattoon Rabbit Show 2018 on Saturday at the Cross County Mall.

-- Ratifying the re-appointments of Terry Brotherton, Bill Standerfer, and David Stapleton to the Public Works Advisory Board.

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Contact Rob Stroud at (217) 238-6861. Follow him on Twitter: @RobStroud

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