The Duncan Banner


June 28, 2009

Building infrastructure meets needs, strengthens our future

DUNCAN — Editor’s note: This is Part 2 of a series of stories focusing on what Duncan leaders are doing to attract and prepare for the possibility of growth in connection with BRAC/Fort Sill.

When Duncan Mayor Gene Brown heard two years ago that southwest Oklahoma’s population would grow, he wanted his city to gain some of those new families.

He still does.

Making a point to be involved in the public side of Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC), Brown started attending meetings held at Fort Sill that would help leaders from area cities and towns understand what would be happening.

“We’re signing what they call a charter. We realize that when people start coming in, Fort Sill — and Lawton — is not going to be able to accommodate those and their families.”

He believes the estimated figure of 10,000 to 11,000 people is accurate.

“It’s hard to say where people are looking.”

He agrees with Duncan Area Economic Development Foundation President Lyle Roggow that those relocating from Fort Bliss/El Paso, Texas, will be seeking a quality-of-life improvement.

“Most are looking for certain things ... school system, what the community has to offer.”

Touting everything from Duncan’s parks to its low crime rate, Brown said, will help attract those families.

“We have a lot of attractive things. Quality of life is a good thing, safety for kids and what the community has to offer as a whole.”

In readying for the influx of new population, Brown said the city has been active in strengthening its infrastructure, with road work, a new water tower on the way, and approval of subdivisions.

“We are trying to get ready to meet the challenges.”

One of those completed projects was the opening of a new access road that runs from Plato Road to the Duncan Public Library, which previously was accessible only from U.S. Highway 81.

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