There is an early indicator of interest in the next round of Enterprise Zone designations coming from Kern County. As is usually the case at this stage of the process, there doesn’t seem to be a particularly in depth understanding of the program or how the process will work. According to The Daily Independent:
All but one of Wednesday’s proposed resolutions appear on the council’s consent calendar and are considered to be routine by city staff. No public hearings are scheduled.
The only action item is a resolution approving $15,000 for “phase one” of forming an “Eastern Kern Enterprise Zone.”
Enterprise Zones – “depressed” economic areas – are eligible for tax relief to businesses and industry electing to expand or develop within a zone, said City Manager Harvey Rose. Once an Enterprise Zone is established, the area is entered into a book circulated among companies interested in relocating. It is “another way of ‘putting us on the map,’” said Rose.
The $15,000 would fund the city’s share of filing an application to the State of California for the Zone. While Enterprise Zones would be helpful to the Mojave Airport and California City, they might not be worthwhile to Ridgecrest because the city is “further along” in its economic development, said Rose.
“This tool may cost us more money than it brings us in business,” said Rose.