The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Local and State News

June 16, 2014

Koch gets TIF district

ENID, Okla. — Expansion plans at the Enid Koch Nitrogen facility are proceeding with the creation of a Tax Increment Finance district on Monday.

The Board of Garfield County Commissioners created a TIF district, through which incremental increases in property taxes will be used to assist with funding the proposed expansion, during a meeting Monday.

The commissioners also established the boundaries of the TIF district and set parameters included in a project plan recommended by a review committee.

Koch Nitrogen officials have plans to build a new urea plant and “revamp” existing production processes, according to Koch Companies Public Sector Communications Director Paul Baltzer.

“The improvements are expected to increase fertilizer production at the facility by more than one million tons per year,” Baltzer said. “Construction on the new plant, which will include additional storage and enhanced loading facilities, is expected to begin in the fourth quarter of 2014. The plant is projected to be operational in 2016.”

Located at 1619 S. 78th in Enid, the expansion project involves approximately 640 acres.

Company officials have indicated the investment in the project will be approximately $1.2 billion. Up to 1,000 contractors are expected to be needed during the course of the expansion project, and approximately 50 employees will be hired to support the new plant, according to Baltzer.

Nate Ellis, of Oklahoma Public Finance Law, said the process of considering a TIF district began in February.

According to the project plan, Koch Nitrogen and Garfield County officials have identified improvements to overcome limitations in water supply and significant costs to upgrade utility and traffic infrastructure in the area proposed for the expansion.

The TIF district projects will focus on a water treatment system to treat industrial water from the city of Enid, a railroad loop track and connections, access road improvements and improvements to power and other utilities.

According to the project plan, the TIF district projects are expected to cost at least $135 million and TIF revenues may be used for expenses not exceeding $148.7 million.

Ellis told the commissioners the next step is the creation of a development agreement, which will allow the county to implement a project fund for reimbursing the company for work performed on the TIF projects.

“I appreciate your consideration and support. This is a big project for us and I look forward to continuing our win-win relationship,” Koch Ag & Energy Solutions Project Development Director Bob Rader said, following creation of the TIF district. “We look forward to hopefully moving forward on this and making this thing a reality.”

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