Atkinson officials have joined with other Henry County entities in an attempt to win an enterprise zone designation.

Atkinson officials have joined with other Henry County entities in an attempt to win an enterprise zone designation.

Two years after missing out on a state-awarded enterprise zone, communities in Henry County are trying again.

In 2014, city and county governments across the state applied for one of 97 available enterprise zones in hopes of offering attractive incentives to businesses.

When the state awarded enterprise zones two years ago, Henry County missed out. Many of the 97 zones were given to locations in Chicago and the collar counties.

This time, communities in Henry County are trying a different approach. An enterprise zone established in Kewanee in 1987 expires in 2017. That zone stretches to include parts of Annawan and Galva (primarily the areas related to the ethanol plants).

When the zone expires, local officials can apply in hopes of having their zone renewed.

In Henry County’s case, officials not only want the Kewanee zone renewed, but they want it expanded to include portions of Atkinson, Annawan, Cambridge, Geneseo, Galva, Orion and Woodhull as well as rural Henry County.

To do so, boards for each of the communities must approve ordnances indicating an approval of a proposed enterprise zone.

At the Monday, Nov. 7 Village of Atkinson board meeting, trustees approved an ordinance that joins the village with others in hopes of winning an enterprise zone for Henry County.

Mayor Ken Taber told the board the enterprise zone is designed to promote economic growth and neighborhood revitalization through state and local tax incentives and governmental services.

He said businesses in or those planning to expand in a designated enterprise zone may be eligible for various tax incentives.

The designated enterprise zone in Atkinson includes U.S. Route 6 corridor, downtown area, and the Atkinson/Galva blacktop leading to Interstate 80.

While 97 zones were available during the first go-around, only nine zones are available this time. The state would award the zones in mid-2017.

The board also heard a report from Bobby Burton, chairman of public works committee, concerning the construction of the new water storage tank at the water treatment plant. His report from Shive-Hattery Inc. included a project description of the 50,000- gallon ground storage tank and demolition of the current tank.

Other improvements at the water treatment plant include a new roof, siding and windows and that work will be bid separately.