The Norman Transcript

Headlines

October 31, 2012

Economic development: Planned policy under scrutiny

NORMAN — Controversy continues to swirl around Norman’s attempts to develop a municipal economic development policy.

This spring, city leaders formed the Norman Economic Development Authority, a trust with bonding capacity. The members of city council will serve as trustees to ensure the board is answerable to the public.

Coming soon will be appointments to an Economic Development Advisory Board to be comprised of people with expertise in economics, banking, development, real estate, business and other relevant areas. That advisory board will not have decision-making power, but will be comprised of professionals who can vet a project and make recommendations to the Authority.

Also under review and creation is an economic development policy for the city, along with possible incentives and eligibility criteria to guide the decision-making process.

“Incentives should be used to level the playing field to take away a disadvantage you might have because your costs are higher whether that be transportation costs, land costs or whatever, versus a competing site,” said Norman Economic Development Coalition Executive Director Don Wood. “Incentives need to always be performance based and have clawbacks if they get them ahead of performance. It’s always better to be performance based, but there are times you may want to give incentives ahead of time, and you need to have clawbacks.”

The Norman Economic Development Coalition was formed in 1996. It is a combined effort of the University of Oklahoma, the city of Norman, Moore Norman Technology Center, and the Sooner Centurions, a committee of the Norman Chamber of Commerce.

Critics of the formation of the new trust authority pointed to the Coalition’s efforts in economic development as proof that Norman did not need an additional entity to promote the city as a site for future employers.

But Wood has been an advocate, saying there is only so much the Coalition can do. In addition, the potential for bonding capacity added by the Authority creates a new toolbox of economic development tools.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Headlines
  • Fracking Operation Norman library to host community dialogue about fracking

    Are Oklahoma oil companies an oligarchy that is controlling state policy? Is fracking safe? These and other topics will be the subject of an upcoming Fracking Forum from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Aug. 11 in the Norman Public Library’s Lowry Room, 225 ...

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Information scarce on ‘dark money’ group in Oklahoma superintendent campaign

    An independent expenditure group that paid for television advertisements opposing State Superintendent Janet Barresi in last month’s primary has not filed required spending reports with the Oklahoma Ethics Commission....

    July 24, 2014

  • Medical examiner says inmate died of an accidental drug overdose

    The Oklahoma Medical Examiner’s Office on Wednesday said a woman found dead in the Cleveland County jail Feb. 23 died of a drug overdose....

    July 24, 2014

  • Officials say transparency lacking in Wal-Mart zoning

    Norman city staff recently admitted to withholding information from the public regarding a controversial zoning change in southeast Norman. If approved by the city council, the proposal will allow a Wal-Mart supercenter at Cedar Lane and ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Air Algerie jet crashes with 116 on board

    OUAGADOUGO, Burkina Faso — An Air Algerie jetliner carrying 116 people crashed Thursday in a rainstorm over restive Mali, and its wreckage was found near the border of neighboring Burkina Faso — the third major international aviation ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Nonprofit raises $3.9M-plus for new center

    The Center for Children and Families, a United Way of Norman partner agency, announced Thursday that it exceeded its public fundraising goal of $3.5 million and raised more than $3.9 million to complete the purchase and renovation of a ...

    July 25, 2014

  • First Junior Police Academy graduates

    The room went dark and a slideshow flipped through photos of children participating in the first Junior Police Academy as kids chattered excitedly, remembering what they had done over the past two weeks. Norman Police Department hosted ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Very bad week: Airline disasters come in a cluster

    WASHINGTON — Nearly 300 passengers perish when their plane is shot out of the sky. Airlines suspend flights to Israel’s largest airport after rocket attacks. Two airliners crash during storms. Aviation has suffered one of its worst weeks ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Police log

    Police responded to the following incidents Wednesday: · 5:58 a.m. indecent exposure, 100 block of West Comanche Street · 6:08 a.m. burglary in progress, 100 block of West Hayes Street · 8:09 a.m. larceny report, 100 ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Felonies filed

    The following people were charged with felony counts in the Cleveland County Court Clerk’s Office: · Angela Beth Mendinghall, 36, unauthorized use of a vehicle; driving with a canceled, suspended or revoked license · Daniel ...

    July 25, 2014