For Immediate Release: March 3, 2003
Senators Say Incentive
Legislation Pays Off
(Oklahoma City) Legislation passed last year to help two Oklahoma tire manufacturing facilities expand their operations is already paying dividends in Ardmore and Lawton.
Michelin North American Inc. announced Friday its intentions to invest $200 million in its Ardmore tire plant. Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company began a $250 million expansion project in Lawton last year.
"We know it's very important for the Legislature to take the steps necessary to create incentives for expansion of the manufacturing facilities that are already here in Oklahoma," said Senator Jim Maddox, D-Lawton. "These two plants are proof that programs like this work."
The financial incentives were included in House Bill 2245, passed by the Oklahoma Legislature in 2002. Under the legislation, Michelin is eligible to receive approximately $25 million in financial incentives from the state and Goodyear will receive approximately $36 million.
The Ardmore Michelin plant is the largest employer in Crutchfield's southern Oklahoma district with more than 1,800 workers. The company had originally planned to spend $57 million to expand the facility. Due to the incentives included in HB 2245, Michelin nearly quadrupled that amount, Crutchfield said.
"The legislation has proven already to be a tremendous economic development tool. The plant could eventually add another 50 jobs. This expansion will ensure the viability of that facility for the next 20 years," said Crutchfield, D-Ardmore.
That translates into job security for many of his constituents and economic stability for the region, he said.
"Now more than ever it is important that we look at policies that can help kick-start our local economies. In the long run that's going to benefit the entire state. This latest development shows we're on the right track," Helton said.
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