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Camden officials OK enterprise zone
WOODBINE -- Camden County Commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday to approve the establishment of an enterprise zone at the site of a proposed spaceport.

The area in east Camden County was the location for businesses owned by Union Carbide Corp. and Bayer Crop Science, which closed last year.

A business coming to an enterprise zone will receive incentives including exemptions from building permit fees, sign permit fees, occupational taxes, business license administration fees, rezoning fees and state and municipal ad valorem taxes, excluding property taxes imposed by school districts.

Before the vote, County Administrator Steve Howard discussed his efforts to make Camden County the site of a spaceport.

"We continue to be encouraged with the progress we're making," Howard said. "It's an exciting project."

Here are three things to know from the commission meeting:

Camden County Fire Rescue and the municipal fire departments in Kingsland and St. Marys reached a mutual aid and automatic response agreement: Interim fire chief Mark Crews said the agreement will improve response times for emergencies.

"This will open a pathway where we can advance in so many directions," Crews said.

Commissioner Jimmy Starline praised the agreement and the cooperation between the municipalities. He predicted there will be more mutual aid agreements for fire protection in the coming months.

"I think there's been a tremendous effort by everybody," he said. "Everything's gone very smoothly."

Commissioner Gary Blount praised the fire chiefs for their willingness to reach an agreement to improve public safety.

"The efficiency of fire and EMS will be greatly enhanced," Blount said. "The response times will be more efficient."

Commissioners voted on key appointments: Starline was voted commission chairman, and Chuck Clark was chosen as vice chair. St. Marys lawyer Charlie Smith was appointed to the Camden County Joint Development Authority board of directors.

Blount expressed optimism that changes in leadership and new appointments to the development authority could improve relations with the cities and their efforts to attract new businesses.

"It would greatly enhance having a unified voice speaking for us," Blount said.

Commissioners accepted the resignation of County Attorney Brent Green: They set a deadline of Jan. 28 for applicants to apply for the position. Interviews and a vote on Green's replacement could happen as early as the Feb. 4 commission meeting.

* Reporter Gordon Jackson writes about Camden County and other local topics. Contact him at gjackson@thebrunswicknews.com, on Facebook or at 464-7655.



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