Northwest Oklahoma has been one of America’s economic hotspots over the past 5 years.  We saw record job growth, record retail sales, and record capital investments.  But the last 12 months have been tough as the price of oil dropped and our steep economic growth slowed.  Our level of wealth is still substantially higher than it was 5 years ago…but it cannot be denied that our growth rate has slowed.
Some would say that this situation would be a cause for concern and helplessness.  But how has NW Oklahoma responded?  With OPTIMISM.
On August 23 rd, the optimism of NW Oklahoma was put to a vote…and NW Oklahoma responded, big-time.
People don’t vote “yes” on local bond issues when they think the sky is falling.
The biggest vote of the night was the 68% approval of the $360 million bond issue in Enid to construct a water line to Kaw Lake and, in essence, doubling the water available in our community.  This not only diversifies Enid’s water supply in the future, it also reduces the impact Enid has on the water resources for the rest of NW Oklahoma.  But this vote wasn’t the only sign of optimism in our region.
  • In Garfield County, the county jail vote passed with 60%.
  • In Pond Creek-Hunter, they approved a new football field with 74% of the vote.
  • In Burlington, they approved a bond issue for new buses with 80% of the vote.
  • In Vici, they approved a school bond issue with 64% of the vote.
  • Crescent passed a school bond issue with 75% approval.
  • Boise City passed a bond issue with 90% approval.
  • Okarche Schools passed a bond issue with 69% approval.
Not a single bond issue failed in NW Oklahoma on August 23 rd.
Last month, the Enid Regional Development Alliance did some survey work in our region to determine the level of optimism during this downturn in oil prices.   Less than a third of the people surveyed said we are on the wrong track.  That is very unusual to have that level of confidence during a downturn.  I am proud to live in NW Oklahoma and proud of the way we can take a punch and keep getting up.  Our best days are still ahead of us and we are not afraid to invest in our children or our infrastructure in order to keep the wheels of prosperity rolling.
Brent Kisling
Executive Director