The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Progress 2013

February 16, 2013

Looking forward to 2013 & beyond

Only thing that could jeopardize Enid’s rise is Enid, Benson says

(Continued)

ENID, Okla. — Looking at expansion

Continuing that drive forward means continuing to invest in the city’s future, Benson said.

He said improving quality of life issues in Enid through the upcoming parks plan vote is the next crucial step. He described the March 5 vote as a “very important juncture in the future of this city.”

Voters will cast ballots on a plan that calls for raising $20 million by increasing the city sales tax rate by one-half cent for five years, and $30 million in general obligation bonds by extending an existing 7 mill ad valorem tax. The proposed plan would renovate all existing parks; build two new neighborhood parks; build a large community park at 30th and Randolph, to include a water park, pool or other water feature; and expand on the city’s trail system.

Benson said the plan goes beyond improving the quality of life for Enid’s residents to upgrading the city’s image for visitors.

“It makes a big statement to every visitor and every potential new business about our commitment to our citizens and our commitment as a community to ourselves,” Benson said.

He said the new community park at 30th and Randolph could help create incentive for new businesses on the city’s east side.

“We can’t develop to the west much more,” Benson said. “We have overrun our infrastructure over there. But, we have a massive opening to expand to the east.”

He said more than 80 percent of the city’s retail sales currently take place on West Garriott between Cleveland and Garland.

“We have massive opportunities up and down Van Buren and east of Van Buren on Garriott,” Benson said. “We have great potential there, and all we need to do is change the prevailing winds.”

Benson said the parks vote is more than a vote on parks — it’s a vote on investing in the city’s future.

“If you believe in it, and you want to invest in yourself and your community, then vote for it,” Benson said. “If not, then vote ‘no,’ and we’ll walk away from it. But, it’s not going to get done.”

Whether the parks plan passes or not, Benson said the city’s future rests on the community’s willingness to move forward.

“We have to embrace our potential as a community,” he said. “We have to believe in ourselves, and be willing to step out of our comfort zone and embrace our opportunities.

“We can return to what we had five, six or 10 years ago in this community or we can continue this ascension to greatness we have going,” Benson said. “We are the economic center of northwest Oklahoma, and that’s a great opportunity for Enid.”

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Progress 2013
  • Progress cover page.jpg 2013 OUR HERITAGE, OUR FUTURE

    The News & Eagle puts out an annual Progress edition. This year's 2013 Our Heritage, Our Future focuses the Enid area's rich heritage and its current and future endeavors.

    Read individual stories on the enidnews.com site HERE

    Links to Full Edition pdf format: Economic Development | Health & Wellness | Education | Northwest Oklahoma | Faith | Family | Agriculture & Energy | Community Service

    Our Progress edition also is available as part of our digital newspaper. Learn more about the ENE e-edition HERE.

    February 16, 2013 1 Photo 1 Link

  • Bob Farrell_1_BV.jpg A time to give

    Bob Farrell volunteers for a number of organizations throughout Enid, a labor of love that began during his 25-year active duty Air Force career, at which time he rose to the rank of chief master sergeant.

    April 13, 2013 2 Photos 1 Link

  • experiment.jpg Growth spurt

    The market normally opens the second Saturday of May, the week after Tri-State Music Festival. June 22 is the annual GreEnid promotion. Hours are 8-11 a.m. each Saturday during the season.

    April 13, 2013 3 Photos 1 Link

  • Nonprofits Seminar_2_BV.jpg A way to fund progress

    Cherokee Strip Community Foundation was started in 1999 and began receiving funds in 2000. The initial funds were raised because of a challenge match from Sisters of Mercy, former owners of St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center, which started the match program as a way to help the community.

    April 13, 2013 2 Photos 1 Link

  • Foster_Grandparent_BH.jpg 'I love you Grandma warms my heart'

    “I can tell Grandma one time, and she knows what the children need, grabs her stuff and goes and does it. It’s like having another teacher.” — Hoover Elementary teacher Nicole Moneypenny

    April 13, 2013 1 Photo 1 Link

  • AmTryke_3_BV.jpg AMBUCS pride

    “Enid is known as the AMBUCS capital of the world because there’s more AMBUCS in Enid per capita than any other city in the country." — Kent Clingenpeel, National AMBUCS president and Enid AM AMBUCS member

    April 13, 2013 2 Photos 1 Link

  • Volunteers_Alisha Jones_4.jpg 'A beautiful thing'

    “When we talk about developing professional airmen, our community involvement is a big part of it.” — Col. Darren James, commander of 71st Flying Training Wing

    April 13, 2013 4 Photos 1 Link

  • Stepping_Stones_1_BH.jpg Helping people overcome

    Stepping Stones and Van’s House are housed at the same facility and are there to provide help for those who are struggling with drug or alcohol addiction.

    April 13, 2013 1 Photo 1 Link

  • Park Avenue Thrift_1_BV.jpg People making a difference

    From vocational rehabilitation and homeless shelter services to community arts programs, a significant portion of Enid’s non-profit causes benefit directly when people shop at or donate to local thrift stores.

    April 13, 2013 1 Photo 1 Link

  • JWL_1_BV.jpg Care to share

    Junior Welfare League bought adjoining buildings downtown and has been operating Return Engagement from one of the buildings but hopes to expand the store throughout both buildings.

    April 13, 2013 3 Photos 1 Link