The Norman Transcript

April 21, 2014

County takes part in regional economic development effort

OKC Chamber visits commision meeting

By Andy Rieger
The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — Economic development has moved from hyper-local recruiting by cities to large regions banding together to attract businesses, county commissioners were told Monday.

Cleveland County contributes $40,000 a year to the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce’s regional recruitment efforts.

“I think the partnership is a win-win for Cleveland County,” said Commission Chairman Darry Stacy. “We are concerned about economic development from the north end of the county to the south end.”

Chamber representatives W. Kurt Foreman and John Reid thanked commissioners for their partnership and support. Recently, the Chamber brought in site location consultants who were impressed with the region.

Foreman said there were 27 active proposals that would generate 14,000 new jobs and $350 million in capital investment. They are in the areas of aviation, energy, manufacturing, shared services and OU research areas.

“If all of them were to happen, that would be a good problem to have,” Foreman said.

He said central Oklahoma is a vibrant economy compared to much of the country. The Chamber’s recruitment effort covers many cities and towns in central Oklahoma.

“We don’t care where the project goes as long as it goes in the 10 counties of central Oklahoma,” Foreman said.

Don Wood, executive director of the Norman Economic Development Coalition, said regional development is now the normal way to attract business.

“You sell the region and then you sell the community,” he said.

In other action Monday, commissioners:

— Approved a $448,700 contract for a computer aided mass appraisal vendor for the assessor’s office. The Patriot Properties Inc. system replaces Colorado Customware which filed for bankruptcy. Assessor David Tinsley said at least four other Oklahoma counties are using Patriot.

— Approved a bid for a $36108 oil and lube distribution station for District 2.

— Approved the disposal and surplus of trucks, tractors and other equipment from District 3 that was sold at Elk City auction in March.