Durant Industrial Authority met Tuesday morning to discuss updates on current project throughout Durant.
One project discussed in the meeting was a new water tower that will be built near Southeastern Oklahoma State University’s campus.
The water tower will provide water to the college and surrounding locations in North Durant. The tower will be located at the corner of 10th Avenue. and Chuckwa Street.
The land for the tower was given to the city for the project by Southeastern Oklahoma State University as part of a donation equaling $500,000.
The cost will be approximately $3 million. Of that cost, $950,000 has already been invested by Southern Oklahoma Development Association (SODA).
The rest of the money will be obtained through grants and city funds, said Executive Director of the Durant Industrial Authority Tommy Kramer.
The tower itself will cost $1.7 million. The remainder of the cost will go to all other needs associated with the tower such as water lines.
Mayor Jerry Tomlinson thanked everybody at the meeting and extended his thanks to all those involved with the project for their efforts in getting the project started.
The authority also discussed two gas pipelines that are being put into place in Durant. A six-inch pipeline will be going in the west industrial park to provide gas to a portable asphalt plant.
The asphalt plant will provide asphalt to bypass construction on highway 70 just north of Choctaw Casino. The pipeline will remain in place after the asphalt plant is removed for future industrial use.
Another 16 inch cross country transmission pipeline will go through Durant. The latest development regarding this pipeline is the assurance that it will be placed 25 feet. underground at in Durant’s West Industrial Park Property.
This will be so that rail spurs may be placed there if ever needed.
While there is no current plan to place a railroad the authority wants to be sure if one is ever needed, there will be no issues because of the pipeline.
Building plans are almost complete for a Pharmcare OK of Durant building. The new facility will cater to the pharmaceutical needs of nursing homes and assisted living facilities in Texas and Okla.
The facility will provide approximately 54 new jobs in Durant. It will have a minimum of four pharmacists plus pharmaceutical technicians.
Also discussed in the meeting was the State Question 766. This question would be an exemption from the intangible tax that was passed by Oklahoma State Supreme Court.
The tax passed in 2009 would have businesses pay taxes on intangible personal property such as patents, trademarks and employment contracts.
The tax is now in effect but is not highly enforced. According to Oklahoma State Chamber of Commerce President Fred Morgan, the enforced tax would devastate Oklahoma’s improving economy.
According to Mayor Tomlinson, one major concern of passing State Question 766 is the implications on schools around the state. Schools receive approximately 60 percent of the tax revenue.
For more information on State question 766 citizens can contact the Oklahoma State Chamber at (405) 235-3669.