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The Molalla City Council meets tonight (July 26) at the Adult Center at 315 Kennel Avenue, and here are some items of interest on the evening's agenda.

Re-authorizing Molalla's enterprise zone

The council plans to hold a public hearing for consent to re-authorize the city's enterprise zone, which provides tax abatements as a financial incentive for industrial businesses to expand their existing facilities, construct a new building, invest in machinery and hire new employees at "higher wages."

FILE PHOTO - Molalla's City Countil meets tonight, July 26.

Molalla established its enterprise zone in 2006. The program allows approved companies that are expanding or relocating to industrially-zoned land within the city limits — existing structures, machinery, equipment and land are not eligible — to receive property tax abatements of 100 percent for as long as five years. Properties resume being fully taxed once the three-to-five-year exemption period ends.

The enterprise zone program, enacted by the Oregon Legislature in 1985, requires participating companies to increase employment by 10 percent, or by at least one job — whichever is greater — to maintain "minimum employment levels" during the abatement period, and to use the Oregon Employment Department's "Worksource Oregon" as its source for hiring new employees before looking elsewhere.

Since 2006, Molalla's enterprise zone has resulted in the creation of 30 new jobs, as well as $3,702,388 in assessed value from the construction of new buildings, city documents show.

If approved by the city council, the re-authorization consent request moves to the Clackamas County Board of Commissioners for final approval.

Letter of support for Drive to Zero

The council plans to draft a letter of support for "Drive to Zero," a Clackamas County campaign aimed at reducing by 50 percent injuries and fatalities on local roadways.

"Safe driving and highway safety are important benefits to our community and your efforts to increase driving safety will undoubtedly save lives and decrease accidents on the roadway," a draft of the letter states in part.

Information on Clackamas County's website says that "based on recent data," reducing incidents by half could results in saving 16 lives and preventing 125 series injuries during at least the next year, although the website says "every year."

Additionally, it says more than 90 percent of crashes include human behavior as a contributing factor, and that distracted drivers, leaving the roadway and young drivers are the three most common contributing factors to fatal crashes in Clackamas County.

City Councilor DeLise Palumbo asked the council during its June 28 meeting to consider drafting a resolution supporting and thanking the Drive to Zero program, but the council voted 6-1 against a formal resolution and opted instead for a letter of support.

Click here to read the Molalla City Council's complete July 26 agenda packet.

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