Forward Together: Ponca City Development Authority
WELCOME TO ......mid-October in Ponca City. The air is a little colder, the leaves are falling faster, the air is crisper and smells clean and like paint? Yes, Paint. The PCDA Community Mural Project still has some white space that needs painting. Grab those kids hanging around your house during fall break and come paint a circle or two today at City Central. Then drag those kids over to the new 101 Rand Exhibit at the Marland Grand Home, or the Library and while your at it, check out all the shops on Main Street since it is a Friday and they are all open. Catch some lunch at Grand Cafe, or Taco Stop of even our very own Central Cafe (after or before you paint) but definitely enjoy fall break right here in Ponca City.
PCDA Staff were busy with building projects. prepping for the Pitch-off competition (get those business plans finalized), meeting with education and business partners and then presenting all of the above to the PCDA Board of Trustees at yesterday's monthly board meeting. Whew. Keep reading to find about about how the PCDA Audit turned out (we know you are so excited) and why a clean audit is important. Last, but not least, Manufacturing Day was celebrated last Friday at Pioneer Technology Center and to that we say "Huzzah" as without our Ponca City Manufacturers, there wouldn't be any BBQ sauce (Head Country), smokers (Cookshack), vacuums (Lindsay) or air conditioners (CME). So many more things made in Ponca City, but you get the idea. Keep reading and enjoy your Fall Break.
DON’T YOU LOVE A GOOD AUDIT???...Tis the season for campaign promises. A common promise from candidates is to audit this or that public agency to make sure the public’s money is doing what it is supposed to be doing. We’ll save those folks running for office the trouble. PCDA is audited every year. An independent audit firm from out of town comes in, climbs all over the books and meeting minutes, takes statements, crosschecks this, double checks that, ask questions and then renders a verdict. In the audit world, a verdict of a “clean unqualified opinion” is the gold standard.
Yesterday, the PCDA Board of Trustees, who hire the auditors every year, met with said auditors to receive the audit results for this year. The verdict? A “clean, unqualified opinion” meaning everything is as it should be. No scandals, no misappropriation, no one paid that shouldn’t have been paid, all payments made were for the public’s benefit, no one on the payroll that shouldn’t have been, no kickbacks or slush funds…you get the picture. This marks the 19th straight time PCDA has received a clean bill of health. As a public trust, the “trust” part for PCDA is always the top priority.
AND WHAT IS THE MONEY USED FOR?...The subject of the audit was the public’s money. The purpose of that money is to manage and grow the local economy. So how is this done? If you’re a visual person, head on out to Enrique's at the airport and look west. You’ll see an expansion taking place at the Cookshack facility. In addition, the new spec building “Duke,” just north of Cookshack, is having foundations poured right now and will soon be a 39,000 square foot industrial building.
A “spec building” means we are going to use it to attract a new company. The vast majority of new companies are looking for an existing building in which they can set up shop (as opposed to raw land) without waiting to build. That’s where Duke will come in. All other industrial buildings in Ponca City are currently being used, which is a great thing. They’re producing jobs and the wages needed to pay for everything else in town. A community must continue to add to make up for things subtracted due to, well, life, and you can’t attract a new company without some place for them to operate. While you’re out at the airport, keep looking out to the west and count the buildings. Everyone of them was built through Ponca City economic development programs.
Put another way, before the first economic sale tax was passed in 1994, there were no buildings west of the airport and north of Industrial with the exception of the auto repair shop. Makes one wonder what things would look like without economic development. And while it’s impossible to attract new industry without a place to put them (building or land), the good news is that more than 95% of new jobs created in local economies do not come from industrial recruitment. They are created within existing companies which is another use of the public’s money. Be it industrial diversification programs, certifications, small business programs, entrepreneurial support, workforce initiatives and more, economic development is at work making Ponca City one of America’s best place for a manufacturing company to operate.
CELEBRATING MANUFACTURING...was the theme at Pioneer Tech last week. Our very own PCDA trustee Kirk Brown from K&C Manufacturing is on the mic educating PTech students on the ins and outs of owning a business, working with other manufacturers and what the future looks like for Ponca City workforce.
Students were able to ask questions and talk to a variety of manufacturing representatives (men and women) at this MFG Day event. Many thanks to our partners at PIoneer Technology Center for hosting this great event.
You still have time to get that business plan together and pitch your fledgling or new startup business to local judges for a chance at $5000 in incentives for your business growth. Past Pitch-off competitors include Aesthetic State of Mind, Survival Swim Co and Vortex Alley Brewing. Click here for all the information on participating in the PItch: How to get started on your business plan and phone numbers for those who can assist with questions.