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January 5, 2014

Community leaders offer projections for 2014

DUNCAN — Big things may be happening in the City of Duncan in 2014, some community leaders said.

Lyle Roggow, Duncan Area Economic Development Foundation president, and Chris Deal, Duncan Chamber of Commerce and Industry president, said 2014 might be a notable year for the city.

“Coming in 2014, I hope will have a pretty good announcement,” Roggow said. “I think we’ll see some companies emerging. The spect building will get a tenant.”

DAEDF is already in discussions with several companies it hopes to bring to the Duncan area. Roggow said Duncan has continued to grow, which is a promising sign when it comes to bringing in more businesses and ensuring more jobs are created.

Deal said 2014 should be a big year for economic development in Duncan and Stephens County. He said one goal for various entities this year will be to create and maintain jobs in Duncan.

“I’d like to see us move forward with economic development within the city,” Deal said. “We need to move the community forward.”

His said there are several issues that will need to be addressed in 2013, including street repairs, water supply and economic development. As economic development is applied, Deal said the half cent sales tax approved by Duncan voters every five years will be among the things residents will need to keep in mind.

The sales tax is intended for economic development. The DAEDF Board is working with the City of Duncan to split the sales tax between the two groups, with the city using the funds for streets and water supply.

Roggow said closer to 2015, Duncan might see more businesses in the incubators or in the industrial parks. He said the community should be more reactive to what companies want to do, instead of attempting to get things moving quicker.

“We’re not forcing it,” Roggow said. “We’re going at the rate the industry moves.”

On Jan. 15, DAEDF will have its groundbreaking ceremony for its spect building. Roggow said there aren’t many vacant manufacturing buildings in Duncan, but having the spect building ready to show will help increase the probability of attracting more companies.

Deal said the Chamber is maintaining many of the same programs from 2013. But he said one goal for 2014 is to continue to grow the retail market.

“There are areas of retail we don’t have,” Deal said. “You’ll find people with the types of talents that will be beneficial. We don’t want to bring in anything that will hurt our local merchants. We support locally. We advocate for our members. We want to improve what the Chamber does.”

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