By James Neal, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle
ENID, Okla. —
About 25 city, civic and business leaders are expected to visit with state legislators today during Enid Day at the Capitol.
The event, organized by Greater Enid Chamber of Commerce, will offer local leaders the opportunity to interact with state legislators and voice concerns on issues affecting the city.
The day will begin with a waffle breakfast with legislators 8-9 a.m. in room 412A at the Capitol, followed by meetings with Enid’s legislators and leadership from the House and Senate.
Enid Convention and Visitors Bureau Director Marcy Jarrett said the Capitol visit is a good chance to increase exposure for Enid, and to remind legislators how crucial state funding is for tourism programs in communities like Enid.
“We like to remind them how important their support is to the state tourism department, and how much we benefit from TravelOK.com, the state’s tourism website and all those joint ventures with them,” Jarrett said. “We always like to remind them how much the outlying communities rely on that support.”
Enid Regional Development Alliance Executive Director Brent Kisling said this year’s agenda focuses not just on voicing concerns, but also on offering thanks to legislators for their assistance.
“Part of what we’ll be doing this year is saying ‘Thank you’ to the Legislature for how they’ve helped us over the last couple of years,” Kisling said.
He said state funding has been crucial in the runway extension, joint use hangar and industrial park road developments at Enid Woodring Regional Airport, along with state incentives that helped attract the proposed Northstar Agri Industries canola plant and the completed Chisholm View Wind Project.
“All of those things were instrumental in allowing us, as a community, to continue to grow,” Kisling said.
Kisling said Enid’s delegation also will be “highlighting how important the wind industry is to this area, and also the oil and natural gas industry.”
“We have to continue to have infrastructure improvements, particularly roads, if we’re going to continue to have that industry,” Kisling said.
In addition to infrastructure, Greater Enid Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Jon Blankenship said Enid leaders will be voicing concerns over workers comp reform and business development incentives during today’s Capitol event.
Blankenship said Enid’s delegation also will continue to voice concerns over the future of Northern Oklahoma Resource Center of Enid and its residents.
“Despite the initial outcome there, and the recommendation that NORCE be closed, we think it’s essential that facility stays open to meet important client needs, especially for clients who aren’t able to move out into the community,” Blankenship said.
He said Enid’s Day at the Capitol is “a real opportunity for our citizens to interact with our legislators and be involved with state government.”
“The overriding objective it to continue to promote Enid,” Blankenship said. “It is a great opportunity to promote Enid and northwest Oklahoma.”