The Duncan Banner
It’s been a while since the county has heard from the Stephens County Economic Development Authority. But that doesn’t mean it has been dissolved.
In fact, the Stephens County Economic Development Authority is still in existence. Lyle Roggow, Duncan Area Economic Development Foundation president, said the group hasn’t been active for a while because the need for the group has dwindled.
Chairman Tommy Jones said the authority was similar to what DAEDF is today. The primary difference is DAEDF’s primary focus is Duncan, while the authority has focused more on Stephens County as a whole.
“It’s sort of in Limbo,” Jones said. “We haven’t met in several years. We really don’t have much to do now. At one time, we had a lot of money. That’s pretty well gone now.”
The original focus of the authority was to bring more businesses to Stephens County. And the authority’s funding helped to do that. Jones said there hasn’t been a need to raise more money because the need for the authority isn’t a prominent as it once was.
Prior to Jones becoming chairman, Ed Ketchum was in the position. When Ketchum retired from the board, Jones got the position by default.
“It has a little bit of money, but nobody’s in need of us,” Jones said. “We’re just sort of hanging on. If we’re needed, we’d serve.”
The potential to help Stephens County is the primary reason the authority hasn’t disbanded. Instead, the members have carried on as ordinary citizens involved in other aspects of the community.
The lack of need isn’t something Jones takes personally. He said the authority is out of practice, and it could require some help to remember what all the authority is supposed to do.
“For us to do anything, I think we’d need legal advice,” Jones said.