Eric Swanson THE ADA NEWS
City Gives Green Light to Economic Development Projects
April 7, 2015
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  • The Ada City Council authorized the city Monday to move forward with two projects designed to attract new businesses to Ada.

    The council voted 5-0 to apply for a $550,000 Economic Development Assistance grant to finance a 10,000-square-foot industrial building on the west side of the airport. If the U.S. Economic Development Administration approves the grant, the city would use Proposition 2 dollars to provide about $550,000 in matching funds.

    The city has a special one-cent sales tax, known as Propositions 1 and 2, to finance road upgrades and economic development projects. Three-quarters of the proceeds are earmarked for road improvements and other public works projects, and the remaining one-quarter is dedicated to economic development projects.

    The Economic Development Administration would require the city to cover 50 percent of the project cost, said economic development specialist Megan Ryan.

    “The EDA grant also requires that this building be used as some sort of incubator or accelerator for new or existing businesses looking to expand or grow their operations,” she said.

    The city would not spend the matching funds if the federal government rejects the grant request, Ryan said.

    The council also agreed to tap Proposition 2 funds for a $55,000 allocation to Ada Jobs, which will hire the engineering firm Olsson and Associates to develop the Ada Industrial Airpark on the east side of the airport.

    The Airport Commission supports efforts to develop the property around the airport in hopes of generating more traffic in the area, said City Manager Cody Holcomb.

    “The airpark could use both aviation- and non-aviation-related businesses that could potentially generate additional jobs,” he said.

    Holcomb said the project would include road work designed to open the area up for development and promote better traffic circulation around the airport.

    Councilman Darrell Nemecek said he was glad the city was starting work on an industrial park at the airport.

    “I think that would be a great, great thing for Ada to have,” he said.

    Ada Jobs President and CEO Mike Southard said he believed the industrial park would be an asset to the airport.

    “I think it could really be something that could bolster the development and activity around the airport,” he said.

    In other business, the council:

    • Authorized the city to buy the property at 230 W. 14th St. to accommodate future growth in the area.

    The city will pay Gregory and Freda Pierce, trustees of the Gregory E. Pierce and Freda A. Pierce Family Trust, $45,000 for the property. The price reflects the property’s appraised value.

    The city has already acquired several lots near the site of the new police station to allow for future development. Late last year, the council approved proposals to buy four lots along West 14th Avenue, south of the new police station, for the same purpose.
    Holcomb said the house on the property is currently rented, and city officials plan to keep it rented if possible.

    • Approved a resolution supporting a proposal to widen state Highway 99 north of town and asking the Oklahoma Department of Transportation to make the project a priority.

    • Acting as the Ada Public Works Authority, the council approved a $28,500 contract with Great Plains Consulting to inspect the 20th Street water tower rehabilitation project.