The Bryan County Ad Valorem Tax was discussed by both the Durant Industrial Authority and Durant Economic Development Council during their Tuesday morning meetings.
Durant Industrial Authority Executive Director Tommy Kramer said during both meetings that the revenue from this tax has grown 206 percent, tripling the amount from 1998.
Kramer said he believes this growth is one of the reasons the Bryan County Commissioners were recently able to raise pay for county elected officials.
Two guests were invited to speak to the Durant Economic Development Council this month. OSU Extension Services Agent Robert Bourne spoke about the 100 years of extension services.
Paige Scott brought a new program to the council’s attention as she spoke about Imagine Durant.
Imagine Durant is an initiative to gather input from all of the city from citizens and community leaders to businesses and organizations to plan the city’s future.
Scott used the example of Bricktown in Oklahoma City, a once-struggling area that is now a tourist attraction giving way to the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Scott said the city’s upward movement began when it was overlooked for a major industry project. When city leaders asked the industry why it was overlooked, they responded that the city didn’t offer the lifestyle wanted for the company’s employees.
The city then made a vision for its future and developed it into a city people want to move to. The hope is to develop Durant into a destination-based on community.
“I think it is important to emphasize community,” said Scott.
She said the team that has been put together comes from different parts of Durant and is a multi-generational team for different outlooks.
While the organization is still getting set up and structured, they do already have an online presence and they are asking for community input and support.
Imagine Durant can be found on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Citizens are asked to post pictures of what they imagine for the future of Durant so goals can be established.
Scott also talked to DEDC members about donating to the effort.
Kramer also gave reports on ongoing projects in the city. The newly established Overland Materials did its first large run Tuesday, processing 1,000 tons of asphalt.
This went to aiding in the South Highway 70 Bypass phase-two project which began the asphalt laying Tuesday.
Kramer said that although the JCP Specialty Foods facility was passed over by its first potential buyer, others are lined up to consider the site.
He said Durant is also in the running for another industrial project that would bring in more than 100 jobs. The Fortune 500 company has not been revealed by name.
The DIA also approved giving help for improvements to Crawford Industrial Street in the amount of $110,000 for assistance to Best Fenders and future businesses in the area.
- Jessica Breger can be reached at (580) 634-2162 or on Twitter @jbreger_news