By Scott Fitzgerald Staff Writer



Advance Food Co. got final clearance Tuesday to pursue its $70 million manufacturing facility being hailed by civic officials as one of the largest capital investment ventures in the history of Enid.

City commissioners unanimously approved an ordinance that contains a fi-nancing plan to aid the development through the establishment of a Tax Increment Financing district.

"This is a way of facilitating economic development by way of generating revenue from the project itself," Jon Blankenship, president and chief executive officer of Greater Enid Chamber of Commerce, told commissioners before they voted.

The financing plan comes under the authorization of a tax increment district that allows for the city to capture new ad valorem revenue generated by the expansion.

That money will pay for capital improvements within 45 acres of Garfield County Industrial Park east of town, including an industrial access road, water pretreatment facility and some of the plant building costs.

The current ad valorem tax will continue to go to regular taxing entities (Autry Technology Center, Pioneer-Pleasant Vale Public Schools, Garfield County and Garfield County Health Department). No entity is losing any revenue it currently receives.

Enid Economic Development Authority will issue bonds to Advance for approximately 10 percent of the projected capital investment.

The TIF district will be in effect for 18 years.

"Because of the construction period, we expect 15 years of full ad valorem revenue," Blankenship said.

After the TIF expires, all new ad valorem revenue will go to regular tax jurisdictions no later than July 1, 2023.

Advance has three years to build the plant. The company has another three years to add 500 jobs.

If the company falls short of adding the 500 jobs, it will forgive that portion of the loan balance it couldn't meet, Blankenship said.

In other action Tuesday, city commissioners:

? Approved a zoning request for property at 1512 W. Oxford for construction of 112 fourplex residential units.

? Approved safety and surface improvements in conjunction with Oklahoma Department of Transportation at railroad crossings on West Maine, West Cherokee. Hoover, West Oklahoma, West Broadway, West Randolph and West Elm. The city will pay $32,500 for the work from its capital improvement fund.

? Approved the purchase of a $21,815 digital phone/radio logger from DavaCorp of Enid for the Garfield County 911/dispatch center.



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