KINGSTON, OK -- Residents of Marshall County were invited to a special meeting Thursday, concerning a controversial land deal. For the first time in almost a year, representatives of Pointe Vista spoke out about their plans for the development.
Dozens of residents showed up at Kingston Elementary for a meeting between a tax increment financing committee, or "TIF" for short, and Marshall County commissioners. The commissioners heard the committee's review of Pointe Vista development's plan for the redevelopment of land around Lake Texoma.
Scott Fischer, Operations Manager for Pointe Vista Development, says a TIF is a great option to help develop the property around the lake.
"It is a fascinating tool (TIF) that allows undeveloped areas, rural areas, to develop, and become competitive," said Fischer.
If approved, certain districts would be created where development will occur. Any tax revenue coming from inside the boundary lines of the district would not go back directly to Marshall County, but would instead go back to fund future projects within the district, such as roads or sewage spillways. Commissioner Royce Bartee says this would forever change the county.
"Marshall County will no longer be the county that a lot of people grew up in," said Bartee. "It's going to bring business, industry, and people."
According to Scott Fischer, the most recent data Pointe Vista has suggests that after 25 years, more than $500,000,000 tax dollars would be generated through TIF funding to help pay infrastructure projects within the district.
"We're pretty comfortable with them. there's a lot of information and backing to the numbers. we did an updated market study to give us new numbers and we feel pretty comfortable with them," said Fischer.
Not everyone is satisfied by Thursday's meeting.
Friends of Lake Texoma State Park, a group that says it opposed the development for environmental and ethical reasons released a statement to First News saying, "The Friends of Lake Texoma State Park oppose any public funding for the conversion of this park to private use, which has not been approved the Department of Interior, or U.S. Army Corps of Engineers."
Boyd Steele, President of the group, commented, " What we want to know is this: Why are two of the wealthiest oil & gas men in Oklahoma - Aubrey McClendon and Mark Fischer - coming before one of the poorest counties in the state as Pointe Vista Development, and asking local citizens to subsidize their development? And, why are Marshall county officials even considering this kind of corporate welfare?"
Another meeting has been set for Thursday, April 9, at the Madill Elementary School auditorium. The meeting will be open to the public.
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