Garfield County Industrial Park awarded $800,000 EDA grant

The Garfield County Industrial Park, seen in a file photo, currently is home to Tyson Foods (in the foreground) as well as Nextlink Internet, Winfield United. The dotted lines are where land is currently available. (Photo provided)

ENID, Okla. — A new local meat company intends to build a facility on the industrial park in eastern Enid once the city completes constructing a new access road and other infrastructure upgrades.

Chisholm Trail Meats LLC’s owner and manager, Eldon Campbell, said 20 full-time jobs would be added over the next five years at the distribution and processing facility, to be located at the Garfield County Industrial Park on the southwest corner of 54th and Willow.

Campbell said he plans to start developing 5 acres on the south side of the park by the end of the summer. The company would be a co-venture with his Enid retail meat market, T & C Meats, at 2510 W. Chestnut.

With newly approved road funding from the state, upgrades to the 65-total-acre park’s infrastructure now are fully funded, ERDA Executive Director Lisa Powell said Monday.

Oklahoma Department of Transportation commission members on Monday approved adding the project to its Industrial Access Road Program, agreeing to fund no more than $180,000, ODOT Commissioner David Dyson confirmed Monday.

To qualify for the ODOT program, a local project cannot be used to enhance “speculative developments,” according to ODOT. Powell said in other words, a business must be reported as an actual user of the access road. Campbell registered Chisholm Trail Meats as an LLC with the Secretary of State in July 2020.

According to ODOT, the company intends to invest more than $2.6 million for the new facility.

The city of Enid will build an access road, called Venture Road, from Enterprise Road to the southern portion of the park where Chisholm Trail Meats’ facility will sit. The city also will construct water and wastewater infrastructure.

Enid City Manager Jerald Gilbert said Monday he didn’t know when work is set to begin, but would check with city engineering staff Tuesday.

With development plans from ERDA, Enid city commissioners on May 18 awarded three contracts totaling $1.04 million for various projects on five blocks of Venture Road.

One contract for pavement improvement awarded $809,716 and 75 days to A-Tech Paving, Oklahoma City. Southwest Water Works, of Oklahoma City, was awarded two, both for 21 days: one for stormwater improvement for $102,000, and another for waterline improvements for $132,457.

Garfield County Industrial Authority, which manages the industrial park, in June 2020 received an $800,000 grant from the federal Economic Development Administration to also fund the infrastructure improvements. This funding was further matched by $244,000 the city says it would have available, Gilbert said.

According to ERDA, three businesses are currently located in the state-certified “site-ready” industrial park: Tyson Foods, Nextlink Internet and Winfield United.

Powell said Campbell’s is the only business that’s purchased property in the park’s southern half.

“But that is also probably because they’d be buying any property they couldn’t access because there’s no road, so it’s kind of a ‘chicken and the egg’ thing,” she said.

The industrial park property also sits within one of Enid’s two federally designated Opportunity Zones, established to incentivize economic development in economically disadvantaged county tracts reported in the U.S. Census.

Individuals or entities who invest capital gains in the zones can receive tax breaks and benefits, based on how long they’ve owned property.

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Ewald is copy editor and city/education reporter for the Enid News & Eagle.

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