Claremore Daily Progress

September 27, 2013

RCIDA could feel pay raise pinch

Salesha Wilken
Staff Reporter

CLAREMORE —

County funding to the Rogers County Industrial Development Authority, (RCIDA) could decrease if the commissioners decide Monday to reallocate sales tax funding.
Commissioners Kirt Thacker and Mike Helm are leading the initiative to give county employees a pay increase with the excess sales and use tax money.
Commissioner Dan DeLozier has been a vocal opponent of the redirection of the sales tax revenue.
“I don’t think using the funding for employee raises is a good idea, because we don’t know where the funding will come from in the future,” DeLozier said.
The funding is dedicated to the payment of the $23.5 million and $3.3 million bonds for the construction of the new courthouse and E911 Center, according to bond documents.
RCIDA relies on supplemental funding to continue business development, according to RCIDA officials.
To date, RCIDA administration reports the organization has received one payment of $300,000 since 2010.
“Industrial development is what makes a county grow,” DeLozier said. “RCIDA has made a big impact in the county.”
The funding is used to construct industrial buildings to attract new development to the area.
RCIDA has assisted in adding 118 jobs this fiscal year with the addition of a new grocery store in Oologah and growth in the Summerlin Industrial Park in Inola, according to Debi Ward, RCIDA business services director.  The trust authority is working to bring three new businesses to Inola, Oologah and Chelsea, with an anticipated cost of approximately $450,000 in construction expenses, according to Ward.
RCIDA has provided the business incubator sites similar to the three proposed buildings for several local companies in the past few years.
“The incubator business program has brought companies to areas of the county which would not otherwise seen this type of growth,” DeLozier said.
The program allows a company time to build their business by lowering the initial capital investment.
The businesses pay rent on the facilities providing about $11,000 in monthly revenue for RCIDA, although monthly expenses exceed the income by approximately $4,000. 
It is a state-wide program offering tax incentives to assist business development, according to Ward.
Expenses for the organization include payroll, utilities, insurance and land or building repairs and maintenance.
RCIDA’s monthly report for August shows about $405,000 in cash assets and approximately $1.9 million in fixed assets.
RCIDA’s fixed assets are primarily held in the Summerlin Industrial Park, Maran Plaza and building sites in Oologah, Inola and Chelsea.
The organization does not have enough cash on hand to build the three facilities and the fixed assets are not liquid, according to RCIDA financials statements.
RCIDA is also assisting with road improvement projects in East Park Industrial in Catoosa and ongoing TIF projects in the area, Ward said.
“If the funds are used it will impact RCIDA,” DeLozier, “In my opinion the funding needs to used on economic growth. We have to help them when we can.”