Letting intelligent ideas flow
Economic development varies among communities, said Janet Yowell, EEDA executive director. Edmond wants to create a climate where new and existing companies can grow increased wealth and a diversified tax base, she said.
“In research we’ve looked at just setting a standard policy and trying to have something that would fit most companies,” Yowell said. However, it was determined that case-by-case basis is a better solution to benefit the community as a whole, Yowell said.
A business and retail plan focuses on the need for increased sales tax revenue for the city, Yowell said. EEDA proposes the city provide assistance to new and existing retail businesses seeking to expand. This practice would be appropriate in under-utilized retail areas of the city or those areas that are in danger of becoming blighted areas, Yowell said.
“We would recommend these areas be projected on the city’s master plan that are already zoned for the kind of permit that somebody is making a request for,” Yowell said.
EEDA recommends assistance to the downtown Edmond corridor from Ninth Street to Ayers. Special consideration in this area would be given for assembling land within the goals of the Urban Board, Yowell said.
“Another area would be Second Street from West Edmond Road going from Santa Fe, all the way out to Saints Boulevard, just east of I-35,” Yowell said. “Another area would be the I-35 corridor throughout our city limits.”
Recommendations also include the potential reimbursement of infrastructure costs including water sewer and electric, Yowell said. Certain billing and inspection fees could be waived for businesses, Yowell said. Facade improvement programs could enhance downtown reinvestment, she said.
A cost of service, energy efficiency study is being done for Edmond Electric and Oklahoma Municipal Power Authority rates and programs, Yowell said.
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