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City of Enid receives grant for portion of 66th

City of Enid receives grant for portion of 66th

By Robert Barron, Staff Writer

November 02, 2009 11:13 pm - Enid News

A $400,000 grant from Oklahoma Department of Transportation will enable the city of Enid to reconstruct a portion of 66th to provide access to the industrial park at Enid Woodring Regional Airport.

The total estimated cost of the project is $744,000, which includes items such as engineering that may be done by the city.
“They will give it to us when they see buildings going up in the industrial park, that’s the caveat,” said Dan Ohnesorge, airport director.

Ohnesorge called that arrangement fair.

“They are trying to protect the taxpayers from a ‘bridge-to-nowhere’ type thing. They want to make sure their money is used efficiently, and I agree,” he said.

The grant was approved at Monday’s ODOT meeting on a unanimous vote. Enid Mayor John Criner was elated at the approval.
“This is wonderful news for the city of Enid. The economic value of the industrial park will significantly improve once construction is complete,” Criner said.

ODOT has committed $400,000 for surfacing material, and the city has committed $200,000 for the project, along with private industry contributions.

Brent Kisling, executive director of Enid/Garfield County Development Alliance, made the announcement. Roggow Consulting and state Rep. Mike Jackson, R-Enid, assisted with the application.

“Investments in our local infrastructure are vital to the growth or our Oklahoma economy,” Jackson said. “I am pleased that the commission recognized the importance of this project and its impact on economic development in northwest Oklahoma.”

Ohnesorge said there are two businesses interested in moving into Cimarron Industrial Park at the airport. One is fully committed, he said, and one has not yet totally committed.

Kisling said the primary business to be assisted by the road work is Mickey Stowers Aircraft Structures International. Stowers repairs aircraft from around the world and most are brought in by truck. Stowers is in the process of expanding, and his business has been hampered by the lack of an industrial access road, Kisling said.

“The industrial park was established in 1991, and we’ve not had business in it because we couldn’t get access,” Kisling said.
The funding approved Monday will allow upgrading of the road, which goes 1,800 feet south along airport property to the taxiway, near Champlin Firearms, he said.

“It’s a chicken and egg thing. Businesses don’t want to commit until they know we will have access, and the state is reluctant until they know there is business there,” Ohnesorge said. “At some point when the buildings start going up, they will give us the grant money.”

Ohnesorge has been airport director for about a year and the access road project has been a top priority since the beginning. He said it became obvious the road needed to be upgraded to support the industrial park, which had been “languishing” at the airport.
“It won’t support the type of vehicles we need to bring in, weighing 80,000 pounds. It has deteriorated even since I have been here. We have filled in potholes, but there is only so much you can do,” he said.

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