The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Local and State News

May 7, 2014

Retail development hallmarks highlighted by Shewey in state of city address

ENID, Okla. — Mayor Bill Shewey highlighted Enid’s $1.4 billion in expected development in his annual state of the city address delivered Wednesday morning.

Those projects include a $1 billion investment by Koch Nitrogen in the expansion of its nitrogen plant east of town, and $200 million in construction planned by Northstar Agri Industries to build a canola processing plant north of there.

Developers also are building housing additions in several sectors of the city, and Shewey commented on the opening of several new retail outlets, including the ones that opened inside the long-vacant former Homeland building.

“Enid is getting noticed because of your efforts and the growth we have experienced this past year,” he told the attendees.

The amount of retail sales tax generated in the city has risen, he said, by about 6.65 percent since last year.

“This is very positive and it continues to build, as Enid continues to become a shopping destination for Oklahoma,” said Shewey. “Every month, more businesses pop up and bring something new to the city and the downtown area.”

His speech this year was similar to last year’s speech — only with some of the projects that were in the planning stages then now complete or under construction. Among those are two water towers that will help with pressure, the permanent Vietnam Memorial at Enid Woodring Regional Airport and the current extension of the runway there.

Construction on the Koch Nitrogen plant should begin in the fourth quarter of 2014, a company spokesman said Wednesday.

Some projects touted by the city haven’t happened as planned, though. Last year, Shewey mentioned the proposed “de-malling” of Oakwood Mall, but the deal fell through just weeks ago after two years of little visible progress.

Still, the mayor had more to cheer than to complain about in his speech. With the annual retail revenue exceeding prior years, one of the bigger problems faced by the city commission is how to spend that money. Public budget meetings are scheduled to begin next week.

“As Enid continues to grow, we must remember to stay true to our character, true to — who we are — original, vibrant and boundless,” Shewey said.

Partly to celebrate the trails and partly an event for National Physical Fitness and Sports Month, Shewey and the commission will walk a mile of the pedestrian trail Saturday. At 10 a.m., the group will depart from the Cleveland Street Trail Head and return to the same location.

“In 2014 the state of the city of Enid continues its legacy of strength and innovation. You are forging the future of Enid,” Shewey said. “Without your efforts we cannot grow, we cannot create beauty and we cannot improve.”

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