Slater council approves beautification, economic development initiatives

Friday, November 19, 2004

A few more vacant buildings in Slater are being targeted to be reduced to rubble in an effort to tidy up the town.

At the regular meeting of the Slater City Council Tuesday, city leaders decided to look into demolishing three houses in the city limits, located on Maple, Short and Leroy streets.

Assistant City Admin-istrator Gene Griffith said the city would likely pay a few thousand dollars per house for demolition costs, adding that the homes discussed were all one-story houses, which are less expensive to tear down.

Griffith said the city has torn down about six or seven houses recently.

"[The] town's looking a lot better," Councilman Terry Jordan said.

In addition to cleaning up old property, Slater is also looking to improve the city's economy by applying for an enterprise zone designation. The zone, which would cover the entire city, is meant to attract businesses to the area by offering them incentives to locate within the zone.

"To attract new business, we could offer tax breaks, we can offer some job training. If a company didn't want the tax breaks they would be eligible to sell them," Griffith said. "It's just a tool to try to attract somebody."

To establish the zone, the city needs to fill out an application, form a seven-member board and hold a public hearing on the issue.

Until revisions in the enterprise zone legislation were made during the last session of the state's General Assembly, the city had been ineligible for the zone. "At the time we didn't qualify basically because Marshall had one and we were too close to them," Griffith said.

The incentives apply only to new or expanding businesses.

The motion to fill out the application was passed without dissent.

Contact Matt Heger at

marshallfaith@socket.net

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