Updated Zone Termination Dates

To: IEZA Membership
From: John Thompson:

Re: Termination dates

When the IEZA met at our Spring Conference in Bloomington, the Administrator’s Manual that was distributed on CD contained a list of Zone Termination Dates. Three zones were listed with termination dates occurring in the past. I requested a review by DCEO and am now providing the updated dates for those three zones who have all been certified by DCEO for their termination date 10-year extensions.

Please include these corrections in your records.

  • Calumet Region's termination date is December 31, 2017
  • Greenville/Smithboro's termination date is December 31, 2017
  • Mendota/LaSalle County's termination date is December 31, 2017

John R. Thompson
IOM, ACE President/CEO/Zone Administrator
Dixon Area Chamber of Commerce and Industry Lee County Industrial Development Association
Lee County Enterprise Zone Administrative Office
101 West Second Street, Suite 301
Dixon, Illinois 61021
Phone – 815.284.3361
Fax – 815.284.3675
E-mail – dchamber@essex1.com

IEZA Opposes House Bill 773 – Action Required



The Illinois Enterprise Zone Association (IEZA) is opposed to House Bill 773 which seeks to expand the scope of Prevailing Wage in Illinois and would have the direct effect of killing the Illinois Enterprise Zone Program. Further, House Bill 773 has similar impacts on an undetermined number but certainly many of Illinois’ Tax Increment Redevelopment Districts (TIFs).

House Bill 773 would expand the scope of Prevailing Wage to include nearly every project except for owner occupied residential in any enterprise zone in Illinois and would require Prevailing Wage for even those undertaken by the private sector including all commercial or industrial projects for new construction or renovation by new or existing businesses. This massive escalation of cost applied to virtually all work done in enterprise zones would be mandated by the language contained in House Bill 773. It would also apply to work performed on any equipment in the zone. Manufacturers simply cannot afford to be held to a prevailing wage mandate to perform “maintenance, repair, assembly, or disassembly work” on their equipment.

TIF Districts located in municipalities would suffer the same impacts from House Bill 773 if they are located within an Illinois Enterprise Zone. IEZA believes this is the case for many TIF Districts and Enterprise Zones across the State of Illinois. IEZA believes because of this that House Bill 773 has the potential to devastate the Enterprise Zone Program and TIF Program in Illinois and to seriously damage the Illinois economy, Illinois business environment and economic development in every corner of Illinois.

Enterprise zones are one of Illinois most important economic development tools used to enable the retention and recruitment of business investment and job creation throughout Illinois. When coupled with the direct effects of House Bill 773 on the TIF Program as well there is the potential to remove two of the most effective economic development programs we have. IEZA strongly OPPOSES House Bill 773.

Why Oppose HB-773?

  • HB-773 expands prevailing wage beyond the current public works arena to any project in an Illinois enterprise zone including private sector projects. This is hugely different from the original purposes of the Prevailing Wage Act.
  • Cost increases that would result from HB-773 would be a major disincentive to investment and resultant job creation or retention by existing or new Illinois business enterprises.
  • In the case of municipalities, under HB-773, their own workers would fall under prevailing wage if they did any work in an enterprise zone. This would result in increased wage/benefit costs and potential administrative costs and accounting as well.
  • The Illinois economy needs business stimulation and strengthening of our incentive programs not further disincentives that erode our existing economic tools such as Enterprise Zone and TIF.
  • Compliance provisions of HB-773 are onerous on their own with written notices, penalties, contract and bond provisions and listings of “first-tier contractors” along with prohibitions on the hiring of contractors or subcontractors appearing on the DOL list of violators of the Act.

In short… House Bill 773 is BAD for Enterprise Zones; BAD for TIF Districts; BAD for business; BAD for economic development; BAD for Illinois; and BAD legislation.

Although House Bill 773 is currently sitting as a shell bill, IEZA has not seen any language either past or proposed that does anything but create the huge mess of problems listed in the bullet points above. IEZA believes that, based on the history of the bill, whatever language may come forth House Bill 773 should be opposed by any organization or individual in Illinois who desires to see our state able to compete with our neighboring states, region and the rest of the country.

Contact your legislators immediately and ask them to OPPOSE House Bill 773!!!

Illinois Enterprise Zone Association
200 East Knox Street
Morrison, Illinois 61270

Betty Steinert, President
(815) 772-5175

John Thompson, Vice President
(815) 284-3361

Download and print this information.
pdf IEZA Opposes House Bill 773 76.48 Kb

April 2008 Conference Report

theatre-47.jpg What a great conference in Bloomington/Normal!

Normal’s Uptown revitalization project is really rolling along. With the renovation of some of the old buildings and the construction of the new buildings that look they are older buildings, it was really something to see. What a project and how the city, economic development, and businesses have worked together to make it all happen. I have and will continue to tell everyone that will listen about the Uptown Normal project and that they need to visit now and again once the projects are completed.

Twin Oaks (Horizon) Wind Farm tour was a great success also. I don’t know about the other attendees, but I couldn’t hear a thing standing right under a wind turbine and it was really a windy day. What a neat project to have in your backyard.

twin-groves1-36.jpg Thank you to all who made presentation and participated in the April training conference! We make a great group of professionals and represent our prospective communities and counties well. Here are some pictures you may enjoy from the conference.

Have a great summer and we will see you in East Peoria on September 10-12th.


Betty J. Steinert
IEZA President Whiteside County Enterprise Zone Administrator



Click below to see full size image slideshow.

bloomington42.jpg bloomington2-30.jpg twin-groves1-36-lg.jpgtwin-groves2-34.jpg twin-groves3-john.jpg

2008 Finalized IEZA By-Laws Published

As published in the 2008 Goals & Objectives, the By-laws of the Illinois Enterprise Zone Association has been published as follows:

By-laws in pdf format available at the end of this article.



1.1 NAME. The name of the association shall be the ILLINOIS ENTERPRISE ZONE ASSOCIATION hereinafter referred to as "ASSOCIATION."

1.2 DEFINITION. The ASSOCIATION is a creative coalition of enterprise zone officials, economic development professionals and prominent business leaders organized to promote, strengthen and enhance the Illinois Enterprise Zone Program.

1.3 PURPOSE. The purpose of the ASSOCIATION is to provide a forum for Illinois Enterprise Zone representatives to coordinate, respond to and support the needs, efforts and concerns of individual enterprise zones in Illinois.

1.4 OFFICE OF ASSOCIATION. The office of the ASSOCIATION shall be the office designated by the President of the Board of Directors as the case may be from time to time.

1.5 FISCAL YEAR. The fiscal year of the ASSOCIATION shall begin on the first day of January and end on the thirty-first day of the succeeding December of each twelve-month period.


2.1 CATEGORIES OF MEMBERSHIP. The ASSOCIATION shall have two categories of members. The designation of each category and the qualifications of the members of each category shall be as follows:

A. VOTING MEMBERS. A voting Member shall consist of one (1) representative member from each Enterprise Zone where such Enterprise Zone has been created pursuant to the Illinois Enterprise Zone Act as approved by the State of Illinois. Each Enterprise Zone shall have one (1) voting member and one (1) vote.

B. NON-VOTING MEMBERS. A Non-voting Member shall consist of any individual, partnership, corporation or other entity which desires to foster the purpose of the ASSOCIATION. Each nonvoting member does not have any voting privileges on any business brought before the membership or Board of Directors.

2.2 ELECTION OF MEMBERS. Voting and Nonvoting Members shall be approved by a majority vote of the Board of Directors.

2.3 TERMINATION OF MEMBERSHIP. The Board of Directors by affirmative vote of twothirds (2/3) of all Board members present and voting at a regular or special meeting of the Board shall suspend or expel a member for cause after an appropriate hearing, and shall, by a majority vote of those present and voting at a regular or special meeting of the Board, terminate the membership of any member who becomes ineligible for membership, or suspend or expel any member who shall be in default in the payment of dues.

2.4 RESIGNATION. Any member may resign by filing a written resignation with the Secretary, but such resignation shall not relieve the member so resigning of the obligation to pay any dues, assessments or other charges theretofore accrued and unpaid.

2.5 REINSTATEMENT. Upon written request signed by a former member and filed with the Secretary, the Board of Directors may, by the affirmative vote of two-thirds (2/3) of the members of the Board, reinstate such former member to membership under such terms as the Board may deem appropriate.

2.6 DUES. Dues for voting members shall be determined by a majority vote of the Board of Directors and voting at a regular or special meeting. Dues for nonvoting members shall be by structured categories and shall be determined by a majority vote of the membership present and voting at a regular or special meeting. The Board of Directors shall make recommendations on dues changes to the membership prior to any vote by the membership. No voting member shall be entitled to vote or hold office until dues have been paid.

2.7 MEMBERSHIP LIST. It shall be the duty of the member to notify the President of any change in the member representing an enterprise zone in time for proper notice of meetings and events; otherwise, such notice is waived.


3.1 REGULAR MEETINGS. Regular meetings of the membership of the ASSOCIATION shall be held on the third Friday of a designated month in each quarter of the fiscal year or as otherwise designated by the President.

3.2 SPECIAL MEETINGS. Special meetings of the membership of the ASSOCIATION for any purpose or purposes may be called by the President or by a majority of the Board of Directors and shall be called by the President or Board of Directors upon request of a majority of the membership of the ASSOCIATION. No business shall be transacted at any special meeting of the membership except as shall be set forth in the notice of the meeting.

3.3 ANNUAL MEETING. The annual meeting of the members of the ASSOCIATION shall be held on such date as set by the Board of Directors.

3.4 PLACES OF MEETINGS. Meetings will be held at the places designated by the President.

3.5 NOTICE OF MEETINGS. Written notice stating the place, day and hour of the meetings, and in the cases of a special meeting, the purpose or purposes for which the meeting is called, shall be delivered or mailed to each member at the last known mailing address of such member not less than ten (10) days prior to regular meetings or five (5) days prior to special meetings.

3.6 QUORUM. A majority of the voting members of the ASSOCIATION shall constitute a quorum. Enterprise Zones may appear and be counted toward the quorum either through their respective representative members or by the proxy of the representative member.

3.7 PROXIES. At all meetings of the membership, any voting member may vote and be counted toward a quorum by proxy executed in writing by the representative member or by his/her authorized attorney-in-fact. Such proxy shall be filed with the Secretary.

pdf IEZA-bylaws-final-as-amended-04-18-2008 25/04/2008,12:03 66.82 Kb


Raflatac Opens New Plant in Dixon with Ribbon Cutting

topstory.jpgRaflatac putting stock in Dixon by opening new plant

Amid the whirring and buzzing of machines working at full capacity, hundreds turned out for Thursday’s grand opening of UPM Raflatac, where they nibbled on ahi tuna, sipped champagne and listened to a live band while touring the cutting-edge labelstock manufacturer.

About 250 of the Finnish-based company’s executives, business partners and suppliers Ñ representing half the countries of Europe and some in South America and Asia Ñ as well as employees and city officials attended the lavishly appointed event.

Raflatac President Heikki Pikkarainen, Jouko Lahepelto, senior vice president of the Americas, and Mayor Jim Burke spoke before the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

“Even though times are tough, over the years, I’m confident this will be successful to suppliers, customers and the local community,” Pikkarainen said, acknowledging the slumping U.S. economy.

Helsinki-based Raflatac actually stands to benefit from the weak U.S. dollar. The company was able to complete construction of the Dixon facility $9 million under its $109 million budget and ahead of schedule.

“This new factory is a great example of how U.S. manufacturing can compete in a global market,” Pikkarainen said.

Burke read a letter of congratulations from Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who wrote that Illinois now is the fifth-largest exporting state in the nation.

John Thompson, president of the Lee County Industrial Development Association, said the new company will provide great economic opportunity for the region.


Dixon landed the labelstock factory with the help of a $4.5 million grant from Blagojevich’s Opportunity Returns program, administered by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.

The state gave Raflatac a business investment package that included 10 years of corporate income tax credits, based on job creation, plus money for employee training and a grant for infrastructure costs and site improvements. The company also is eligible for additional tax credits and exemptions because it is in an enterprise zone.

“The economic impact is comparable to a huge boulder being thrown into a placid lake,” Burke said, because of the construction and factory jobs created, building materials purchased, payroll dollars that go into the community and tax revenues.

The company began looking for a Midwest location in 2006, after completing its second coating line in Fletcher, N.C.; it wanted to create a “service-area triangle” with its distribution center in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., Pikkarainen said.

After considering numerous sites in five states, it narrowed its selection to four Illinois towns, and Dixon came out on top.

The logistics, operating environment and the local population’s down-to-earth demeanor “fits very well with our heritage and culture,” Pikkarainen said.

Lahepelto also touched on the company’s efforts to help with environmental sustainability. Raflatac’s production process uses less energy and environmentally friendly adhesives. Also, in an effort to minimize waste, the company has developed a wood-plastic composite from its self-adhesive waste that’s ideal for patio decks.

In fact, the floor and stage where the celebration took place was built of the new “ProFi” material, which the company plans to market.

Jim Miller, president of Joshua Label Co., of Perrysburg, Ohio, made the five-and-a-half hour drive to the event.

“I felt strongly enough about their presence in the market. I think they are positioned favorably to pick up a lot of business in this region,” Miller said.

Miller’s company only has four employees. “It’s very easy to do business with them, because they understand how to deal with a small producer,” he said.

Raflatac purchased 60 acres so it has room to expand if it chooses, Thompson said. Related vendors and suppliers also may choose to locate here.

Story by Sauk Valley News, Malinda Osborne at (815) 625-3600
or (800) 798-4085, ext. 526.

Goals & Objectives for 2008

During the IEZA’s 2007 Annual Board Retreat (October 30 – November 1, 2007), the Board approved the following Goals & Objectives for 2008:

GOAL I: Continue to improve communications and record keeping with all individuals, governments, organizations and businesses involved in the Illinois Enterprise Zone Program.

  • Objective: Approve and publish revised IEZA By-Laws.
  • Objective: Produce electronic IEZA Newsletters.
  • Objective: Utilize ISBE resource assistance to continue the education of Zone Administrators, educators and school board members on the relationship between enterprise zone abatement and the general state aid formula.
  • Objective: Maintain and update IEZA Web Site.
  • Objective: Maintain centralized comprehensive mailing lists for membership information, conferences and newsletters. Integrate with online IEZA Web Site.
  • Objective: Create web-based IEZA electronic information distribution system for rapid dissemination of critical zone related information.

GOAL II: Continue to broaden awareness of the Illinois Enterprise Zone Program through cooperative efforts with other Economic Development organizations.

  • Objective: Link IEZA web site to web sites of IEZA members, DCEO, IDC, ITIA and other Enterprise Zone application-related sites (examples: AG Review, Gas Use Tax Exemption, etc.).

GOAL III: Continue to increase membership of Zone Administrators and other business categories.

  • Objective: Maintain contact with each zone administrator by mail and electronic means.
  • Objective: Conduct ongoing retention and recruitment efforts.
  • Objective: Contact certified businesses and professional member candidates.

GOAL IV: Remain active in the enterprise zone legislative process.

  • Objective: Monitor and inform members of legislation affecting zones.
  • Objective: Analyze and track policies for impacts and effects on the Illinois Enterprise Zone Act and regulations.
  • Objective: Poll IEZA members to assist in determining if positions should be taken on specific legislation.
  • Objective: Contact legislators regarding IEZA’s positions on legislation and encourage members to make individual contacts.

GOAL V: Educate zone administrators.

  • Objective: Provide continuing education for members through workshops and conferences.
  • Objective: Conduct feasibility study for future implementation of a Certified Zone Administrator professional designation through IEZA.
  • Objective: Conduct survey(s) related to IEZA and member needs.

GOAL VI: Improve assessment of successful investment and job creation that utilizes Illinois Enterprise Zone incentives and programs.

  • Objective: Examine data collection methods and devise reporting methodologies to better reflect Illinois Enterprise Zone economic impacts at the local, regional and statewide levels.

Updated Fall Conference News

IEZA Fall Conference Presenter James Mathes of Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) will be available to speak with you one-on-one at the IEZA Fall Conference, on how the Enterprise Zone Abatement affects your school’s state aid funding.

This is your chance to meet with Jim in a private environment at the conference and ask the questions you may have and to review how your school district state aid formula works. See how in many cases your school benefits not only from the new jobs and investment but also through the state aid formula for school districts who participate in the abatement process.

Jim will be available on Thursday, Sept. 27 from 10:30-11:00 am and on Friday, Sept. 28 from 9:00-11:00 am. You do not have to have an appointment but it is suggested. Please email Betty Steinert at bsteinert@whiteside.org with your preferred date and time. For more information on the conference please check out events on this web page.

Meet with James Mathes of IL. State Board of Education

IEZA Fall Conference Presenter James Mathes of Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) will be available to speak with you one-on-one at the IEZA Fall Conference, on how the Enterprise Zone Abatement affects your school’s state aid funding.

This is your chance to meet with Jim in a private environment at the conference and ask the questions you may have and to review how your school district state aid formula works. See how in many cases your school benefits not only from the new jobs and investment but also through the state aid formula for school districts who participate in the abatement process.

Jim will be available on Thursday, Sept. 27 from 10:30-11:00 am and on Friday, Sept. 28 from 9:00-11:00 am. You do not have to have an appointment but it is suggested. Please email Betty Steinert at bsteinert@whiteside.org with your preferred date and time. For more information on the conference please check out events on this web page.

Mike Pierceall Taking Position in Carbondale

Long time IEZA member and Economic Development colleague Mike Pierceall has moved employment from The Alliance of Edwardsville/Glen Carbon to Carbondale. The Alliance’s loss will be Carbondale’s gain. Mike’s accomplishments couldn’t have been stated any better than in the article written by Kerry L. Smith in the “Illinois Business Journal.” The article (follows just below) is a great tribute to Mike, and after receiving permission we decided to put the article on the IEZA web page. I hope you will enjoy it as much as we did. Mike, you will always be a part of our group and we look forward to continuing to work with you!
Betty Steinert, President, IEZA

At the end of July, the Edwardsville/Glen Carbon community said "so long" to one of its most valuable professionals and wished him the very best as he headed further south to continue his economic development and planning career in Carbondale.

That individual is Mike Pierceall, a name many of your recognize. For the past nine years, Mike poured himself into the nonprofit economic development organization known as TheAlliance of Edwardsville & Glen Carbon. With a graduate degree and more than 25 years' experience in planning, Mike could have easily sought – and secured – work solely in the private sector, but he opted back then for a four year old, public-privagte organization (TheAlliance) because he saw the vital importance of its existence.

And he still does today, nearly a decade later. Ask Mike what he's most proud of, and his assistant, Liz Saul, is at or near the top of that list. She's the creator of the impressive website that draws thousands of visitors per month, many of them site location experts and site developers keenly interested in what Southwestern Illinois has to offer. In fact, it was recognized in 2006 by the International Economic Development Council as the best economic development webs site for communities with a population of 50,000 and under.

Mike is also very proud of effective, behind-the-scenes approach TheAlliance has perfected through the years. The Interstate 55 Corridor Plan is a classic example of this success, he says. Roughly 60 professionals donated their time and expertise as members of several project action teams. The project, which is just moving into its second phase, won an award for governmental coordination by the St. Louis chapter of the American Planning Association.

Being the first point of contact with developers, Mike says, is probably one of the the most valuable services TheAlliance provides its members, which include the city of Edewardsville, the village of Glen Carbon, Madison County and a host of for-profit area companies ranging from banks to engineering firms to utility companies and more. To the municipalities in particular, who do not have full time economic development directors on staff, TheAlliance fulfills that role in a big way. TheAlliance is there to catch the call from the developers, quickly feed them the demographics and site information, drive them around the area and provide whatever else they need – in the quick timeframe in which they need it – better equipping the municipality to handle any negotiations at a later point.

When Mike started working for TheAlliance back in the summer of 1998, the organization's budget totaled only $90,000 in cash. (The organization is also supported with in-kind contributions.) Nine years hense, TheAlliance's cash budget is still only $140,000. Of that total, approximately 65 percent is funded by the public sector, 30 percent by the private sector and 5 percent by other sources such as its annual Wine Fest.

It's obvious that Southwestern Illinois' residential and commerical growth continues to increase. It's obvious that the costs of marketing a region don't decrease. It's obvious that the development and site selection industry is extremely competitive, and that if we don't tout what we've got, someone else somewhere else will be touting what they've got to the same group of site seekers.

Recently TheAlliance asked its public sector partners to consider a modest increase in the amount of funding their municipalities contribute to the organization. They met with enthusiasm and support from some and less than that from others. The public-private partnership that TheAlliance represents has been an effective and resourceful means of meeting the needs of both communities in a cost-sharing manner.

To make a point relevant to TheAlliance's funding challenges, I think it's important to mention the change in thinking that the city of Collinsville went through over the past 10-15 years. The city's leadership was once thought of collectively as a "sleeping giant" that believed growth would just come to it automatically without having to plan for it or work toward it- or invest additional money to make it happen. But it wasn't until Collinsville invested in full-time city professionals skilled in development and planning, and until the mindset, and actually the faces of the elected officials, were changed who represented the city itself, that it embarked on a path of good growth.

I hope the municipality of municipalities who haven't quite comprehended the great value they're getting from TheAlliance as their tremendous "economic development subcontractor" will catch on very quickly and be able to increase their already good investment in this worthy organization.

We wish Mike Pierceall the very best in Carbondale; we know we haven't seen the last of him around these parts. The legacy he's built in the form of a stronger "Alliance" among the development community of Southwestern Illinois will continue to bear fruit in the form of strong communities. Thank you, Mike, from all of us.

Kerry L. Smith is president and chief executive office of the Illinois Business Journal . She can be reached at ksmith@ibjonline.com .