Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Hargis to Chair City Committee for Economic Action

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Hargis to Chair City Committee for Economic Action

Article excerpt

Attorney V. Burns Hargis will chair a new 62-member Oklahoma City Committee for Economic Action, designed to stimulate ec onomic growth and development in Oklahoma City, it was announced Friday by Mayor Andy Coats.

Hargis will be backed by four vice chairmen. They include Terry Childers, city manager for Oklahoma City; Mike Woelffer, economic director of the Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce; Tiana Douglas, executive director of the Oklahoma City Urban Renewal Authority, and Clayton Bennett, manager of Public Supply Co.

The committee will hold its first meeting Nov. 12 at 4 p.m. in Oklahoma City Council Chambers. Coats' intentions of putting together a task force for economic development were first announced last summer.

Coats anticipates the naming of other members to the committee in the future, he said.

"You may have been wondering why it has taken so long for this group to be formed," said Coats. "I wanted it to be something that has never been done before in this community, something with teeth in it that will create positive results.

"This will be the first time in Oklahoma City that a group of people will be brought together to deal with economic development and diversification. There has been too much division in this community.

Members of the overall committee will consist of officials from the city of Oklahoma City, the Oklahoma City Chamber, the South Oklahoma City Chamber, Oklahoma County and various businesses and agencies throughout the city.

Among the goals Coats wants to see implemented by the committee are helping local businesses and their endevours to expand as well bringing new industry to Oklahoma City.

Specific objectives, said Coats, include the establishment of:

- Individual groups to visit with existing Oklahoma City businesses and see how the city could help them to expand or improve their operations through improvements on the water system, sewer system or other parts of the infrastructure.

- Groups to visit officials of businesses or industries interested in relocating and discuss the advantages of coming to Oklahoma City.

- A "one-stop bureau for business" that would help new businesses commencing to set up operations and existing businesses wishing to expand. This would help them get all the necessary information on zoning, building permits, building inspection and related items on a fast track to get the new business or expansion in place as soon as possible.

- "There will also be a focus on federal, state and local laws that accommodate bringing in new businesses," said Coats.

- In additon, suggestions will be requested from businesses and industries about what state or city laws could be changed or implemented to facilitate economic development and bring new jobs tothe area, he said. …

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