Your Monthly News & Updates
FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR...

Happy New Year!
2017 was a great year for Enid, Oklahoma, but we have no doubt that 2018 will be even better.  Here are the Top Ten Economic Development Announcements made in Enid in 2017:

10.  Community Wayfinding Signage Installation-As part of our community's on-going marketing effort, the first phase of wayfinding signage installation began this year.  These signs are intended to direct visitors and help them find the rich cultural and shopping venues Enid has to offer.

9.  Johnston Seed Expansion-Johnston Seed will celebrate 125 years of operation in Enid this upcoming year, and they are celebrating by expanding their seed operation location.  Johnston's is quickly making Enid, Oklahoma the "Grass Seed Research and Sales Capitol of the World."  This expansion gets us closer to that reality.

8.  New Soccer Complex Announcement-In the fall of 2017, an announcement was made that a sizeable donation was given for a state-of-the-art soccer complex to be built in our community.  Athletic events are the largest form of tourism our community depends on every year and this project will elevate our competition venues to an even higher level.

7.  Atwoods Distribution Center Expansion-After selling the former Walmart building on Garriott to the developer that brought Academy Sports to Enid, the Atwoods family made the decision to invest in their existing distribution center in Enid rather than expand into other markets.  This will impact the local Enid economy for years to come as this great legacy business continues to grow throughout the region.

6.  TP&L Expansion-In 2017, TP&L purchased the old Chesterfield Building on 54th Street, built a new facility on some of the vacant ground on the site, and purchased more space around their existing wind components transload facility on 66th street.  Hundreds of millions of dollars of wind equipment is passing through our community and the TP&L expansion will allow for that industry to continue to grow.

5.  Construction of the Covington Solar Farm-In 2017 we saw the construction of our region's first solar farm.  I have no doubt that this is the first of many that will be established in our area over the next few years.  We are fortunate to have this investment to help our local schools and roads through the additional ad valorem taxes generated.

4.  Wind Catcher Energy Connection Project Announcement-In the fall of 2017, PSO announced that they will be building the nation's largest wind farm in the Oklahoma Panhandle and transmitting the power to their customers in multiple states in the region.  This is the largest capital project in state history and will have a huge impact on Enid because of the wealth generated in the area.

3.  ADM Milling TIF Approval-The ADM Milling Flour Mill has been in Enid for nearly 100 years adding value to the wheat produced in NW Oklahoma.  We were in danger of losing this asset in 2017, but fortunately, our city council and other community leaders stepped up to work with ADM to modernize their plant.  The result was an announcement of a $32 million investment in Enid and a long term commitment to keep their employees here.

2.  Koch Plant Water Reuse Project Completion-The Koch Fertilizer Plant has been going through a $1.3 billion expansion over the last three years, and in 2017, they flipped the switch to begin using Enid's tertiary water instead of potable water.  This is the largest industrial water reuse project in the state and will have a long term impact on the availability of water for other uses in the region.

1.Tyson Foods Purchase of AdvancePierre Foods-In 2017, Enid's largest private employer was purchased by one of the world's largest food production companies, Tyson Foods.  ERDA led a delegation of Enid leaders to meet with the leadership of Tyson in Springdale, Arkansas last fall and helped share our story as they look to grow their presence in our community.  We are very optimistic about the future of this company in our community and look forward to welcoming them as part of our corporate family.
 
Brent Kisling
Executive Director
UPCOMING EVENTS

ERDA Quarterly Luncheon
January 26, 2018 -  11:30-1pm
Oakwood Country Club
Guest Speaker: Stuart Solomon, President and COO
 of Public Service Company of Oklahoma 
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NwOA Networking Luncheon
January 30, 2018 - 11:30-1pm
Woodward Conference Center
Guest Speaker:  Joy Hofmeister, Oklahoma School Superintendent 
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ERDA Workshop and Luncheon
"Creating an Ideal Internship"
February 1, 2018 11:30 - 1pm
Oakwood Country Club
Speaker: Roberta Douglas, OSU Career Services
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2018 Oklahoma Gubernatorial Candidates Forum*
February 21, 2018  5:30 pm - 7:30 pm
CNB Center, 301 S. Independence, Enid, OK 
*All Gubernatorial candidates have been invited to participate.

VISIT ENID NEEDS YOUR HELP
Visit Enid has retained Young Strategies, Inc. to develop research-based strategies for tourism in Enid. A visitor/resident survey has been conducted with travelers to Enid as well as residents of Enid and those that live in neighboring areas. We would appreciate you taking this brief survey to provide your thoughts about Enid as a travel destination. We kindly request a response to the survey by Monday, January 29th.  Please click on the weblink below to begin the survey:
PSO WIND CATCHER ROUTES ANNOUNCED
Public Service Company of Oklahoma announced Wednesday the power line route for its Wind Catcher Energy Connection project.  Wind Catcher Energy Connection, a joint effort between PSO and Southwestern Electric Power Co., is a $4.5 billion project that involves building a wind farm in Oklahoma, a 350-mile power line and two substations. The wind farm, to be built on 300,000 acres in Cimarron and Texas counties in the Panhandle, will include about 800 2.5 MW wind turbines. A power line will stretch from there to Tulsa, bringing 2,000 megawatts of energy to customers in eastern and southwestern Oklahoma, in addition to parts of Texas, Arkansas and Louisiana. Read more...
CREATIVE DISCOVERY ON THE MAKER TRAIL IN ENID 
You've heard of makerspaces, but what about a whole Maker Trail? This fall, as part of the  Edward Jones Placemaking on Main Challenge, Main Street Enid created just that-a downtown-wide, multi-station event with creative, experiential activities. Kelly Tompkins of Main Street Enid shares more about the Maker Trail project and how it inspired creativity and helped people discover downtown.   Learning through discovery gives us the problem-solving experience necessary to be creative and innovative thinkers.
CAREER DAY INSPIRES 
Eighth-grade students at Long­fellow Middle School took a break from their normal routine Friday for a full day of learning about possible careers during the school's second annual Career Day.  Jeanice Polwort, Longfellow guidance counselor, said Career Day started last year as a way to motivate eighth-graders before moving them on to high school.  "Last year, it started as just a way to get some inspiration to the kids," Polwort said, "to give them a vision for life outside of school, beyond high school."  She said Career Day took on extra meaning after the state mandated last year that counselors help eighth-grade students design a career plan.   Read more...
NEW EXECUTIVES AT ST. MARY'S DISCUSS EXPANDING SERVICES
The new chief executive and chief operating officers at St. Mary's Regional Medical Center are hoping to build on accomplishments from 2017 and expand the hospital's services in the new year.  Krista Roberts assumed the CEO post last October with the retirement of Stan Tatum, who had served as CEO since 2010.  Roberts previously served as chief operating officer at the hospital, and has worked in various posts at St. Mary's for 27 years.  Read more...
LAND RUN STEAKHOUSE OPENING THIS SPRING
A new locally-owned steakhouse is coming to Enid in the spring of 2018.  Land Run Steakhouse will be located at 3710 W Owen K Garriott Rd., in the former El Chico restaurant  location. The Zakuti family, owners of Napoli's Italian Restaurant in Enid, purchased the building in 2017, starting speculation on what type of restaurant would go into the Garriott location. Tony Zakuti, who will operate Land Run Steakhouse, says they chose a steakhouse to fill a void in Enid's restaurant landscape.  Read more...
NEW CARE FACILITY OPEN IN GARBER
A new care facility for people with intellectual disabilities opened last week in Garber. Mattox Hall, which opened Jan. 15 at 209 E. Garber, is an intermediate care facility for individuals with intellectual disabilities. The facility is licensed through the Oklahoma State Department of Health for 16 people and is funded through Medicaid.  Read more...
NEW PRESIDENT AT INTEGRIS BASS 
BAPTIST HEALTH CENTER
The new president of Integris Bass Baptist Health Center is looking forward to the challenges and opportunities of his new position.  Finny Mathew started his position at Integris Bass on Jan. 2, and after a two-day orientation has started settling into his new job. Read more...
HUMPHREY & GUARANTEE ABSTRACT HAS NEW OWNER
Humphrey & Guarantee Abstract, 217 W. Broadway, has sold to new owners, company representatives confirmed Monday.  The abstract company, founded by J. C. Humphrey in 1931, was sold Jan. 2 by former owner Todd Humphrey to Bailey Hans LLC.  Dirk Bagenstos, CEO of High Plains Bank of Alva, said he formed Bailey Hans to purchase and operate the abstract business. Read more....
ENID ARTIST CREATES PIECE FOR OKC THUNDER 
The Oklahoma City Thunder recently commissioned a local artist to create a painting for Chesapeake Energy Arena. Catherine Freshley, Enid resident and owner of Catherine Freshley Art, was commissioned by the Thunder to paint a work depicting a sunset, which now hangs in a hallway in the arena. Freshley, originally from Portland, Ore., said the commission from the Thunder is her largest work to date, in a budding art business that started as a hobby. "Art has always been my main hobby and my most consistent interest as I was growing up," Freshley said. Read more...
MARKETING OF LAHOMA COURT PROPERTY CONTINUES
An Oklahoma City company is continuing to market the Lahoma Courts property. "I believe they're working on a proposal, but they have not brought it to the city yet," City Manager Jerald Gilbert said. "We would be excited for something to happen as soon as possible." Enid City Commission had agreed to give Ron Ward Investments LLC the exclusive right to market the property for 180 days, until Nov. 1, 2017. "There is no current agreement, but the city continues to work with the developer on the project," he said. City officials have said the Lahoma Courts property is being marketed for retail development. "As a community we believe that since that is one of the highest traffic count intersections in all of Northwest Oklahoma, it's a great opportunity for us as a community to provide more shopping opportunities for local citizens and everybody in Northwest Oklahoma, and to be able to catch retail sales tax dollars for the community for decades to come," Enid Regional Development Alliance Executive Director Brent Kisling has said.  Read more...
NWAT DISCUSSES POTENTIAL NITRATE PILOT PROGRAM 
The Northwest Water Action Team Steering Committee heard an update Tuesday on a potential pilot program involving nitrate treatment of water.  Duane Smith & Associates owner Duane Smith, with whom the team has contracted for facilitation services the past few years, said Guy Sewell, a professor at East Central University, is the lead investigator, and there is now approval for the Environmental Protection Agency's Robert S. Kerr Environmental Research Center to be involved.
"From a technical standpoint, I think that's huge, having EPA involved in a grant application with the Bureau of Reclamation," he said. "We thought that application would be out by now, but it's not, so we're waiting on that to come out. Clearly, what we would like to do is make that application. It would probably be somewhere in the late summer or fall before the application would be approved.  "What we'd like to do, is when we make the application is look for some pilot projects."  Read more...