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Albany City Hall

Ashley Smith Democrat-Herald

Albany will pursue formation of a new enterprise zone now that it has grown too large to be included in a rural zone, the Albany City Council has decided.

During their Monday work session, councilors also agreed to have staff members draw up a resolution for consideration in the near future that would update the miscellaneous water utility fee schedule.

The report suggested increases for utility service fees, rental deposits, restoration of service during regular hours, and past due and disconnection notices.

John Pascone, director of the Albany-Millersburg Economic Development Corp., came to the work session to ask for direction on forming an Albany-only enterprise zone.

Councilors gave the go-ahead to staff to draw up a resolution and a potential map for a future vote.

Enterprise zones are meant to create jobs by exempting businesses from local property taxes on new investments for a specified amount of time. They are limited to a total of 15 square miles and are oriented toward industrial uses.

Right now, Albany is part of the South Santiam Enterprise Zone, which includes Millersburg, Lebanon, Tangent and parts of Linn County. But the city's population is now more than 50,000, so it is considered a metropolitan statistical area and can no longer be included.

Zones exist for a limited time, and the South Santiam zone is expiring this summer. However, Pascone said its partners likely will submit an application for renewal. 


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