Long-time banker and community leader William (Bill) Easley has been elected as chairman of the recently appointed Barry County Enhanced Enterprise Zone (EEZ) Board.
Easley is chairman emeritus of Commerce Bank Board Barry County Market after a long tenure as community bank president. Easley holds a bachelor's degree in business administration from the University of Missouri-Columbia.
In 2006, Easley was appointed to the Missouri Clean Water Commission Board by then Governor Matt Blunt. Easley also has served as chairman of the Cassville Industrial Development Corporation.
"We are fortunate to have someone of Bill's stature and experience in Barry County and Missouri to lead this board," said Barry County Presiding Commissioner Cherry Warren. "This is an important program with an important mission.
"We appreciate the time and efforts of the board's busy community leaders and Bill's proven leadership," added Warren.
Easley was one of seven Barry County residents named to the Barry County EEZ Board by the Barry County Commission in July.
Other board members are: Richard Asbill, Cassville R-4 School District superintendent, representing the county's school districts; Dennis Baker, Barry County Health Department Board vice chairman, representing special taxing districts; Mike Bennett, representing the Purdy community; Steve Decocq, representing the Wheaton community; Mark Shumaker, representing the Golden community; and Bob Stewart, representing the Shell Knob community. Easley was appointed to the board to represent the Cassville community.
EEZs are specific geographic areas designated by local governments and certified by the Department of Economic Development (DED). The purpose of an EEZ is to enable a designated area to provide tax credits to new or expanding businesses.
Currently, there are 86 EEZ designations in the state of Missouri. The Barry County EEZ will encompass all of Barry County except areas covered by the City of Monett and the Monett School District.
The Barry County Commission also passed a resolution directing that the Jenkins Fire District be exempted from EEZ consideration, at the request of the fire district.
It is the board's job to meet and make recommendations to the Barry County Commission regarding the percent and duration of tax abatements to be granted.
A public hearing on the EEZ Board's recommendations will be scheduled in the fall.
For more information on Missouri's EEZ program, visit missouridevelopment.org.