Two businesses were approved to receive Enhanced Enterprise Zone (EEZ) benefits at Monday’s board of aldermen meeting.

The St. Clair Enhanced Enterprise Zone was formed in 2013. The zone works by supplying a tax abatement program for current businesses that want to expand or new businesses that want to relocate within the zone.

Monarch Partners, LLC, applied to receive benefits. The company purchased the old St. Clair Motel and would like to turn that property into rentals. The development is located at 672 and 677 Gravois Road. The company expects the capital investment to exceed $150,000 and it would create two new full-time positions.

The St. Clair Board of Aldermen makes the final approval of benefits because the majority of the zone falls within city limits, according to Dierker.

City Administrator Travis Dierker said the company presented the plans to the EEZ Commission. The commission made a recommendation to approve zone benefits of 50 percent abatement for 10 years on the property based on the promised new jobs and making a capital investment of at least $100,000.

Mayor Ron Blum said the company will get the abatement based on the improvements made to the property, and on the entire property.

“So if they improved it, according to the assessor, by $100,000, they will get half of that assessment,” he said.

Alderman Art Viehland asked if there are architectural renderings of the development. Dierker replied that are not any renderings and that the board is going by what the company promises to do.

He added that the assessor will evaluate the property when construction begins and after construction, the property will be reassessed. The difference in assessments will determine the amount of property abatement, according to Dierker.

“Those improvements do have to be made and the assessor would come and make that assessment to determine what the value is, and (the company has) to prove to myself on an annual basis that they’ve created two new jobs and that they’ve made the $100,000 investment,” he said.

The board voted 4-0 in favor of approving Monarch Partners, LLC, to receive Enhanced Enterprise Zone benefits.

Ozark Die Casting

Brulanbra, LLC, in partnership with Ozark Die Casting, was the second business approved to receive EEZ benefits.

The EEZ Commission made a recommendation to the board of aldermen for the company to receive a 50 percent abatement for 10 years on property located at Harris Industrial Park, according to Dierker.

The board voted 4-0 in favor of approving Brulanbra, LLC to receive EEZ benefits.

In October, the board approved a new 22,500-square-foot manufacturing plant site plan at 1005 Lofting Industrial for Ozark Die Casting Co. The property was bought by Brulanbra, LLC, and Ozark Die Casting Co. will be the renter.

With the development of the new plant, Ozark Die Casting Co. and Brulanbra, LLC, promised 30 new jobs by 2023.

About EEZ

An EEZ is an economic development tool designed to assist communities that qualify. It is based on demographic criteria that includes U.S. Census data, unemployment and poverty statistics and the presence of blight.

In order to qualify, the unemployment rate in the targeted area must be higher than county and state figures, and 60 percent of the median family incomes in the zone must be lower than 90 percent of the county and state average.

Language associated with the EEZ states that eligible facilities will receive a minimum property tax abatement of 50 percent for a minimum of 10 years.

To qualify, the business must employ at least two new employees and spend a minimum of $100,000 in new investment for a new or expanding industry or $1 million for a replacement facility. Retail businesses do not qualify.

The zone extends well beyond the city limits. It includes Parkway Village as well as land on both sides of the Interstate 44 corridor from Gray Summit to Stanton.