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CUOMO AWARDS $4.3 MILLION TO HELP CREATE JOBS AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IN OKLAHOMA CITY
WASHINGTON - Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo today announced $4.3 million in assistance for Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, to transform the old Oklahoma City Oilfield into a Native American Cultural and Educational Center. The project will create an estimated 250 jobs.
"One of the most important challenges facing cities today is cleaning up and revitalizing abandoned industrial and commercial sites that were the engines of America's economic greatness in our past," Cuomo said. "Working in partnership with communities, we can transform these areas into generators of new jobs and new prosperity in our future."
Oklahoma City will receive a $1.75 Brownfields Economic Development Initiative grant and $2.559 million in loan guarantees to work with the Native American Cultural and Educational Authority (NACEA), a state agency representing 37 Federally recognized tribes, on the Native American Cultural and Educational Center. The Center will celebrate contemporary Native American culture and the rich history of native nations. The Center will be located on a 409-acre site, less than one mile from downtown. The BEDI and Section 108 loan guarantee funds will be used for land acquisition, rehabilitation, environmental remediation, infrastructure development and economic development activities.
Key participants in this $72 million project include: Oklahoma City, NACEA, Oklahoma Department of Transportation, Oklahoma Energy Resources Board, Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce, Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality and the Association of Central Oklahoma Governments.
Brownfield sites include abandoned factories and other industrial facilities, gasoline stations, oil storage facilities, dry cleaning stores, and other businesses that dealt with polluting substances. Since 1993, the Clinton Administration has taken a series of actions to clean up and redevelop brownfields and return them to productive use, including: providing seed money to communities for revitalization; removing regulatory barriers to redevelopment; and providing a targeted tax incentive to businesses that purchase and clean up the sites.
The loan guarantees, also known as the Section 108 Program, provide communities with a source of financing for job creation, housing rehabilitation, and construction of public facilities and large-scale development projects.
Vice President Gore announced the Clinton Administration's Brownfields National Partnership in 1997 to bring together resources of over 20 federal agencies to address brownfield cleanup and redevelopment issues in a coordinated approach. HUD works with other federal agencies to provide communities with financial and technical assistance to revitalize brownfields.
Cuomo accompanied President Clinton last month on the President's New Markets Tour of economically distressed communities that highlighted the economic potential for investment in underserved markets. The President is proposing tax incentives and investment tools that will make it more attractive for corporate America to search for opportunities in such communities.
A recent HUD report titled New Markets: The Untapped Retail Buying Power In America's Inner Cities (was linked to http://www.huduser.org/publications/newmarkets/cover.html) showed that America's inner city neighborhoods - with $331 billion in annual retail purchasing power - hold major economic potential for retail business growth. The report found:
Content Archived: January 20, 2009
Content Archived: January 20, 2009