The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

December 10, 2012

Committee to eye canola TIF

By Robert Barron, Staff Writer
Enid News & Eagle

ENID, Okla. — The Tax Increment District Review Committee will meet at 8 a.m. Wednesday to discuss a proposed Tax Increment Finance district for the Northstar Agri Industries canola plant.

The committee will meet to discuss a proposed $12 million to $15 million TIF package to assist with the anticipated $200 million canola processing plant to be built on the east side of Enid. A TIF district establishes an area in which increased ad valorem taxes will be delayed for a specific period of time. The funds would be used to defray the costs of project development.

Tax-receiving agencies would continue to receive taxes at the current property rate until expiration of the TIF, at which point property taxes would be paid out based on project improvements.

The TIF also would help pay for infrastructure improvements on 66th, which would be brought up to standards for truck traffic.

“It’s the same as we did with Enterprise Drive when we did the Advance Food TIF,” said Garfield County Assessor Wade Patterson, who represents the county on the TIF committee.

The Northstar canola plant will have an estimated $3.75 million annual payroll with 55 full-time jobs. The plant will be located at 66th and Willow in the Pioneer-Pleasant Vale Public Schools district. It will include a railroad spur and a storage facility.

The plant will be able to process 2,200 tons of canola per day, or 760,000 tons per year. It will include a full refinery capable of annually producing 580 million pounds of food-grade refined canola oil and 450,000 tons of canola meal, said Neil Juhnke, president of Northstar, who was a guest at the Grand National Quail Hunt this year.

Committee members are City Commissioner Mike Stuber, chairman; Dr. David VanHooser, representing Metropolitan Area Planning Commission; John Cromwell, representing Garfield County Health Department; Jim Strate, Autry Technology Center; Brent Koontz, Pioneer-Pleasant Vale Public Schools; and David Burrows, Bruce Jackson and Casey Felix, at-large members.