ARDMORE, Okla. (OBV) – American Rescue Plan Act funds are making a difference in Ardmore, providing the Ardmore Industrial Airpark long-needed water treatment infrastructure improvements that will meet the needs of major future developments.
Businesses and industries across Oklahoma are investing in development and growth thanks to ARPA funds provided by the federal government to help states recover from setbacks created by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Oklahoma received $3.19 billion in ARPA funding, with $1.87 billion available to the state government for projects that will benefit all Oklahomans and $1.32 billion to Oklahoma counties, cities and local communities.
The Southern Oklahoma Water Corporation (SOWC) received a $17.1 million ARPA fund grant. Of those funds, $9.1 million was dedicated to water treatment capacity improvements at the airpark and water distribution improvements in areas around the airpark, according to Roger Dethloff, SOWC General Manager.
The treatment capacity and distribution improvements are needed to keep up with ongoing growth in and around the airpark, growth that exceeds the current system’s capabilities, said Dan Luttrell, VP of Industrial Assets for the airpark.
“I couldn’t tell you how many years old that system is, but with the growth that we’ve seen and the potential growth that we’ve got coming in the next five to 10 years, yeah, that capacity need is there and will continue to be there,” Luttrell said.
The growth plan includes attracting businesses and industries to the airpark. The additional water treatment capacity will accommodate future development, Luttrell said.
“It gives us that additional capacity to meet the needs of any manufacturing or distribution businesses that look to relocate or begin operations at the airport,” he said.
Chief among the future developments is the Global Transportation & Industrial Park of Oklahoma (GTIP).
GTIP – a state-of-the-art, $124 million multimodal logistics facility – will be built on over 200 acres of the airpark’s 2,955-acre land. It’s a major development which will create new opportunities for air, rail and truck transportation while providing spaces for transloading, warehousing, distribution and manufacturing, according to the Ardmore Development Authority.
The Department of Commerce approved a $25 million industrial sites grant in late 2022 for GTIP, Luttrell said.
The massive new development is expected to be completed by 2026-27 and will create new jobs, increasing Ardmore’s workforce and fostering other future benefits, according to Luttrell.
“It’ll bring businesses to the area, which will bring jobs, which will bring people and then spur economic growth and continued economic development,” he said.