May 15—City of Muskogee Foundation directors signed off on a $7.59 million economic development grant during a special meeting convened Friday.
Industrial Development Director Marie Synar with the Port of Muskogee said the grant "gets us one step closer" to a siting decision "for Project RPX, which will be a production facility." Synar said she expects "a decision any day."
"We have been working on this thing for a while — the lead came to us in July 2019," Synar said, noting the pandemic caused some delays during 2020. "We did have to hit pause, but we are a finalist community. I can't tell you how many finalists there are."
The Muskogee City-County Port Authority's strategic incentives program offers performance-based packages based on the amount of a company's capital investments and the number of jobs created. Terms of the manufacturer's performance are negotiated and verified before incentive payments are made.
Synar said she was unable to provide further details about Project RPX, other than it "would be a significant project for Muskogee and significantly change the economic landscape of our community."
Wren Stratton, who serves as chairwoman of the foundation's governing board, said the strategic incentive program grant would be paid out during the course of 20 years. She, too, was unable to provide details.
"What I can say is because of this foundation, our community is finally in a position were we can be more competitive," Stratton said. "And I have to credit Marie and her economic development team — you keep bringing projects to the table, and sooner or later we're going to get a hit."
The multimillion-dollar incentives package approved Friday is the second to win foundation approval during the past three weeks. Foundation directors approved a $4.12 million incentives package for Project Constellation, which Synar described as "a new manufacturing facility contemplating a new location at the port."
Synar said Project Constellation, which qualifies for the port authority's high-impact incentives program, would create at least 200 new jobs and include a capital investment of at least $200 million.