Council sets Public Hearing on Residency

It was a small crowd Tuesday night at the regular Mesquite City Council meeting with a somewhat simple agenda.

The Economic Development Ad-Hoc Incentives Committee, led by Chairman Dan Wright, presented a summation of what they would recommend the City do to bring more businesses to the area, including using discounts on land purchases from the City when meeting specific investment and operational levels.

Wright stated that the committee recommended the discounts be based on three simple, but very vital, factors: capital investments, number of jobs created and the minimum hourly wage level. If a company was to invest $1 million in actual building costs, hire and maintain 50 employees who earned an average wage that was 125% above the statewide or county average, they could then earn a 90% discount off of land purchased from the City.

While this may seem like a lot to give away just to bring business to Mesquite, the City owns just over 3500 acres throughout the city limits all the way to Exit 112. All of that land is currently sitting unused and does not generate revenue. The committee, who met a total of eight times throughout the past three months, sees the selling with incentives as a win-win scenario for the City.

Wright also presented the committee’s recommendation of setting aside 25% of the funds that would be placed into a special Economic Development Fund that would provide for other incentives that would be possible. This fund could be used for smaller businesses that might not have the capital investment monies or for existing businesses who want to expand and get a little bit of an incentive from the City to do so.

Overall, the Council seemed quite pleased with the presentation. “This is leaps and bounds above anything that we (the City) have ever attempted before,” said Councilman George Rapson. Councilwoman Cindi Delaney also agreed stated “This above and beyond what I expected to get, thank you very much.”

The council voted unanimously to Rapson’s motion to accept the presentation and to figure out how to get local real estate brokers involved with incentives to help get rid of the lane as well as setting up the rest of the recommendations to get this running soon. Councilman Rich Green agreed with Rapson’s motion, but requested that the soft-incentives portion of the presentation be placed at a higher priority than it was at in the presentation.

Other business for Tuesday’s meeting included approving a contractual raise for City Attorney Robert Sweetin. After a short presentation of his accomplishments over the past six months, the council agreed with a vote of 5-0 that he had earned an increase. His accomplishments include a better system to review civil claims that come against the city, working out the ones that might be frivolous before sending them on to the City’s insurance company for payment. Sweetin will receive a 5% increase in pay, which has been budgeted. Per the employment agreement, he will be eligible for another pay increase at this time next year.

The final item of the night was to set a Public Hearing to get community feedback on proposed residency rules for employees of the City of Mesquite. The hearing will be on the next regular council meeting which is set for Tuesday, June 23 at 5 p.m. The proposed Ordinance 494 would require employees to live within fifteen miles of the City of Mesquite. Per the agenda item memo, all current collective bargaining agreements with residency clauses would not be affected by the passage of this ordinance.

Comments

  1. Residency rules should only apply to elected officials and those who hold administrative positions in the city that need to be present for public inquiries. Also jobs that have vital roles in public/citizen safety should tbe nearby The rest of the blue collar workers should be allowed to live anywhere they please. When Mesquite becomes an actual big city then let’s talk about this again

    • I forgot to add a thank you to our city officials who are looking to bring business back to Mesquite. These are great steps in the right direction 🙂

  2. Police and fire should have to live within the city limits as they had to in the 1990’s. Waivers were allowed for Bunkerville. They should not live out of state. The rule was they must be able to arrive in Mesquite within fifteen minutes.

  3. City Officials should be local residents only. If they live outside our boundaries, they are not vested in Mesquite’s growth or our continuing problems. They don’t live here, they don’t deal with what we have to on a daily basis. They don’t care what their decisions do to the rest of us. They should not be living in Scenic, Beaver Dam, Bunkerville, anywhere where their zip code is not 89027, 89024, or 89034 (sun City). We need people in city government who truly want to make Mesquite a better place to live; who will work hard to bring businesses into the city. Frankly I am tired of having to go to St. George every time I need something that is not available here.

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