The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

January 6, 2013

Canola TIF will be discussed at meeting

By James Neal, Staff Writer
Enid News & Eagle

ENID, Okla. — The Enid-Garfield County Metropolitan Area Planning Commission will meet in a special session Tuesday to consider a Tax Increment Finance district for a proposed canola processing plant, and rezoning of 80 acres in the county for use as an oil field service storage yard.



TIF proposal

MAPC commissioners will hear from Nathan Ellis of The Public Finance Law Group on the terms of a $27 million incentive package designed to bring a canola processing plant to Enid.

The Enid Tax Increment Review Committee passed a resolution in December recommending city commissioners create a Tax Increment District, from which Northstar Agri Industries would be compensated up to $15 million for the construction of a plant estimated to cost $200 million. The TIF district also would compensate the city of Enid for more than $12 million worth of infrastructure improvements required to build the plant in Enid.

Tuesday’s MAPC meeting will be the last stop for the proposed TIF district before it goes before the city commission for final consideration.

The city of Enid and Enid Regional Development Alliance have negotiated terms with Northstar that would entice the company to build the processing plant on almost 400 acres between 66th and 78th about one mile north of U.S. 412.

Estimates for the plant investment range from $150 million to $250 million, with TIF compensation ranging from $12 million to no more than $15 million.

Under the terms of the proposal, all tax-receiving entities would continue to receive ad valorem revenue from the current assessed value of the 399 acres on which the plant will be built, plus 10 percent of any increase in ad valorem revenue due to the plant’s development over the next 25 years.

Tax-receiving entities affected by the ad valorem tax drawn from the TIF district are: Pioneer-Pleasant Public Schools; Garfield County, through the county general fund and the county school levy; Garfield County Health Department; city of Enid sinking fund; and Autry Technology Center.

Once the TIF expires, the tax-receiving entities could see a combined net gain in their ad valorem revenues of up to $2.2 million per year, according to figures provided by The Public Finance Law Group.

Over the 25-year term, the TIF district is projected to generate $50 million in ad valorem revenue. Of that $50 million, $5 million would go to the tax-receiving entities over 25 years, and $45 million would pay for Northstar’s compensation up to $15 million; the city’s $12 million in infrastructure improvements; and 25 years’ worth of interest on the obligations to both Northstar and the city — more than $23 million.

If the resolution is approved and the TIF district created, Northstar plans to have the canola plant fully operational by March 2015.

The Northstar canola plant would have an estimated $3.75 million annual payroll with 55 full-time jobs, according to company figures.



Rezoning

MAPC commissioners also will consider Tuesday rezoning 80 acres of land at 525 West Southgate Road for use by an oil field service company.

The tract under consideration is situated south of West Southgate in the section immediately east of South Van Buren. The tract would be bounded on the west by the Union Pacific main line, which runs east of existing businesses at the intersection of South Van Buren and West Southgate.

Dallas-based Longfellow Energy LP is requesting the land be rezoned from A-1 general agriculture to I-2 light industrial, to be used as an oil field equipment storage yard and operation offices for the company.

According to a company statement filed with its request, Longfellow Energy intends to use the Enid yard as the company’s divisional headquarters for operations in the Mississippi Basin south and east of the city.

The Longfellow division headquarters would service “thousands of acres of leases” between Enid and Hennessey, and “would create little new heavy equipment traffic through Enid by virtue of the fact nearly all of their work would be south of Enid,” according to the company statement.

The company noted in its statement it could have selected other communities for the service yard, including Guthrie, Blackwell, Kingfisher and Hennessey. The company selected Enid, according to the statement, “because of the balance of its proximity to Longfellow’s lease acreage and Enid’s opportunities for family activities, including education, medical, shopping, dining and recreation.”

The acres under consideration for rezoning lie just outside of Enid city limits, which follow the west right-of-way of the Union Pacific tracks along that section, north to Rupe. Existing light industrial properties lie to the west and north of the tract under consideration.

MAPC commissioners will make a recommendation Tuesday on the rezoning. The matter then will go to the Garfield County Board of Commissioners for a final decision.