The Inola River-Rail Site, over 2,000 acres originally intended to house a nuclear power plant, will soon be used to energize economic development in rural Rogers County.
The Public Service Company of Oklahoma (PSO) transferred the site to the City of Tulsa-Rogers County Port Authority Thursday in order to develop the site into a fully-operational port and attract large-scale industries to set up shop.
PSO President and COO Peggy Simmons said, “For our entire 106 year history, PSO has been a driving force for economic development.”
“This site is a strong example of what you do with 2,000 acres and a vision,” Simmons said. “To take that vision to the next level … we will now transfer ownership of the Inola site to the Tulsa Port Authority.”
“Not since the port was new and we had a blank space of 2,000 acres to develop have we had news as exciting as this,” said Port Director David Yarbrough.
The Inola River-Rail is located along the Verdigris River, part of the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System, and connects to the Port Authority’s existing facilities at the Tulsa Port of Catoosa. With both barge and rail access, the location is ideal for much-needed expansion of port operations and for future industrial development.
“This is another opportunity to duplicate what they’ve done at the Tulsa Port of Catoosa for economic development, for jobs in the region,” Yarbrough said. “We are so excited that PSO trusted us enough to partner with us and allow the board of the Tulsa Port Authority to take the model that we built at the Port of Catoosa and that we spent the last 40 years perfecting and apply it to a brand new location.”
“To have waterway access and an industrial property with acres to spare is wonderful for us, for PSO, for Inola and for the Tulsa region,” Yarbrough said.
Inola Mayor Larry Grigg said he was excited by the expertise the port would bring in attracting new businesses to Inola.
The increased sales tax brought in by people working at the site will help the small town improve its infrastructure. And over several years, property taxes provided by the new industries will boost the public school system.
“This is pretty exciting,” Grigg said.
Long-term plans for development of the site are underway as the Tulsa Port of Catoosa takes over the development and enhancement of the property’s infrastructure. PSO will continue to be the electricity provider for the property, co-develop a master plan with the Port and help in co-marketing efforts.