Collier commissioners expected to discuss economic development zones Tuesday

— Economic development zones are the focus at Tuesday’s Collier County Commission meeting.

Commissioners are expected to set criteria for a new airport director, declare all of Collier a recovery zone to apply for $35 million in bonds, and evict Southern Motor Sports for back rent.

In a consent agenda item – a collection of actions approved with one vote – county employees will ask commissioners to declare all, or part, of the county a recovery zone to become eligible for $14.18 million in economic development bonds, and $21.27 million in building bonds.

Recovery zones are areas defined as having significant poverty, unemployment, home-foreclosure rates or general distress, and recognized as such by the state and federal governments administering the programs.

Collier County meets the criteria, according to David Jackson, executive director of the Bayshore Gateway Triangle Community Redevelopment Agency.

Recovery zone economic development bonds are for public projects and recovery zone facility bonds are for tax-exempt private activity within recovery zones.

Under either category, bonds must be issued before Dec. 31, 2010.

The $35 million is not included as income or expenditures in the current fiscal budget, according to Jackson.

Eviction of Southern Motor Sports is also on the agenda.

Three months ago, the CRA purchased property along the mini-triangle between U.S. 41 East and Davis Boulevard from Corradi Cooper Street, Inc. Since then, the CRA has had difficulty collecting rent from Southern Motor, at 1991 U.S. 41 East, according to assistant county attorney Jennifer B. White. Southern Motor leases out sports vehicles.

In a Nov. 10 letter to Southern Motor, in care of James M. and Virginia A. Schmidt at 5219 Maple Lane, White wrote that $8,480 back rent for October and November must be submitted by Nov. 18. Since another $4,240 is due today, the Schmidts need to pay up.

Monday, Southern Motor could not immediately be reached for comment, and the name listed at the 5219 Maple Lane address is the Maple Lane Trust at 1919 Manchester Circle. The Schmidts are not listed as owners at that address. The property is owned by John and Susan S. Hornyak III.

“I delivered the letter personally to the tenants and got a signed delivery notice. The commercial site has a strange set of addresses,” Jackson said Monday.

Finally, commissioners will discuss criteria for hiring a replacement for Collier County Airport Authority Executive Director Theresa Cook, who took a job at an Oregon airport.

One of the few county contract jobs, the airport executive director reports directly to commissioners. The duties and focus of the position have been topics of discussion since the Economic Development Council of Collier County wanted more input into airport activities.

Cook formally submitted her resignation on Oct. 21, effective Friday, according to Winona Stone, assistant to County Manager Leo Ochs. On Nov. 20, the airport board of directors declared Cook’s assistant, Debbie Brueggerman, as interim director, to take over Dec. 7.

The commission meeting begins at 8:30 a.m. and is at 3301 U.S. 41 East. To look at the complete agenda, go to http://apps2.colliergov.net/Common/docs/Agendas/Complete/12-01-09/CoverSheet.pdf.

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