State Housing Finance Agency Plans $200,000 Gift to Compact

Article excerpt

The Oklahoma Housing Finance Agency plans to contribute $200,000 to Gov. George Nigh's Public Trust Compact if a com mittee appointed by the agency's trustees can determine whether such a contribution can be made, it was reported Friday.

Gov. Nigh attended the meeting to make an appeal for a contribution to the Public Trust Compact. In fact, he stated that the housing finance agency was the first state agency he had approached on this issue.

Nigh unveiled his idea for the compact during a news conference held last week in which he outlined several ideas he had for the economic advancement of Oklahoma.

Specifically, the governor wants to raise a total of $2 million - $1 million appropriated from the Oklahoma Legislature and the other $1 million raised through state agencies and donations by industry and private individuals - to be used by the Oklahoma Department of Economic Development to advertise and promote the state. The money would not be used, Nigh emphasized, until the new governor takes office in January.

"I told the state Legislature that if they would appropriate $1 million," said Nigh, "I will try to match it for a $2 million single shot, 12 to 16 month effort to sell the state of Oklahoma."

When questioned about how much money he felt the housing finance agency might contribute, Nigh stated he thought it could be somewhere in the neighborhood of $250,000, which the agency could eitherpay in a lump sum or in increments.

Concerned about the legality of making such a contribution and also whether the agency had the available funds, the members requested an opinion from attorney Jack Lawrence.

Lawrence drafted a resolution allowing the agency to participate in the compact, provided that six requirements are first met:

- An amended trust indenture for the agency be drafted in which it is stated the agency is able to make such contributions for the welfare of the state.

- That the state auditor and inspector's office be asked "whether, and at what level, contributions to the proposed compact by OHFA bear a reasonable relationship to OHFA's purposes."

- Written approval of the compact by the attorney general be obtained. …