Webco Opens New Facility in Sand Springs
A new Webco Industries manufacturing facility, that has created 80 new jobs, opened recently at a site that once housed a local social-services facility. The Sand Springs metal tube manufacturer officially opened the 210,000-square-foot facility in early June, three years after ground was broken. The location will allow Webco to expand as demand for its products grows.
Oxley Foundation Gives $30 Million to new Medical School
The Oxley Foundation gave a $30 million gift to underwrite the announced Tulsa School of Community Medicine. The foundation is giving $7.5 million for start-up costs and $7.5 million for an endowment challenge grant to each of the project’s two partners – the University of Tulsa and the University of Oklahoma –Tulsa. The school plans to enroll its first students in 2015 and will graduate them into residencies in 2019 with the goal of helping the state reduce its shortage of primary care physicians.
Three Tulsa Manufacturers Announce 400 new Jobs
D&L Oil Tools, a manufacturer of down-well equipment for the oil industry, announced plans to hire 100 new employees receiving up to $2.4 million in incentive payments. Team Oil Tools plans to hire 200 new employees and receive up to $4.55 in incentives payments and Trinity Containers, a manufacturer of storage tanks, announced plans to hire 108 new employees, receiving up to$1.8 million in incentive payments.
Electric Bills to Drop
Electric bills will drop during the next year as natural gas prices have fallen, utility AEP-PSO announced in early June. Public Service Company of Oklahoma said it is decreasing the fuel-cost portion of monthly bills, resulting in one of the most significant price drops in recent history. Overall, price decreases for utility customers will range from 12 percent on the low end to 30 percent for commercial and industrial customers.
Broken Arrow Schools Expanding and Renovating
Extensive work will be taking place at 19 of 25 Broken Arrow schools as the district goes full steam in expanding its classroom space. The work is being funded by a record-setting $295 million bond issue that Broken Arrow school district voters approved in 2009. The district’s construction is expected to be completed by 2014.
Area Home Sales Continue to Increase
Tulsa-area home sales rose yet again in April, continuing 2012’s strong improvement over last year. The Greater Tulsa Association of Realtors reports that 1,028 homes were sold in April, up 3.6 percent from March and an increase of 12.4 percent from April 2011. The 3,748 homes that were sold in the first four months of 2012 represent a 20.1 percent increase from the same period last year. The average sales price of $159,509 is 15.5 percent higher than April 2011.
Tulsa’s IC Corp. Produces 100,000th Bus
Nearly 11 years after IC Corp. opened its 1,000,000-square-foot facility at Tulsa International Airport the company has rolled off its 100,000th school bus. At the site that made B-24 Liberator Bombers for Douglas Aircraft during World War II, workers now build the safest school bus on the road. IC’s facility is owned by the city of Tulsa and leased to the manufacturer, which employs 1,200 people in Tulsa. The south side of the one-mile long building is leased to Spirit AeroSystems which manufactures aerospace components.
State Revenues Keep Increasing
Gross-revenue collections in May continued to increase, driven primarily by income and sales taxes. With incomes climbing and sales tax collections on the rise, Oklahomans continue to show confidence in the economy in spite of renewed global uncertainty. May collections were up 5.8 percent from May of last year and saw an average growth over the past 12 months of 9.2 percent. Gross collections for May brought in $858.9 million, up $46.7 million.
St. John Buys Broken Arrow Location
St. John Health System has purchased its newest hospital, St. John Broken Arrow, and its adjacent medical office building for a combined $147 million. The transaction was the largest Tulsa County land sale in the last year. St. John Broken Arrow totals 180,000 square feet and employs 185 people. St. John BA includes the Center for Joint Replacment, 44 beds and had 2,075 adult admissions in 2011. The St. John Broken Arrow medical office building totals 100,000 square feet and is 75 percent occupied.
Teach for America Summer Institute Begins
Tulsa welcomed 770 new summer residents in mid-June with the kickoff of the city’s first Teach for America Summer Institute. The arrival of 650 newly recruited teachers and 120 national staff members means Tulsa Public Schools was able to overhaul its summer school program and quadruple its student enrollment to 5,300 students. Tulsa’s TFA Summer Institute will be training all new corps members who will be assigned in the fall to schools in Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Kansas City, Charlotte N.C. and Miami, Fla.
Forbes Ranks Tulsa Among Top 25 Best Cities to Retire
Tulsa’s tax climate and low cost of living helped land it a spot among Forbes’ annual list of the Best Places to Retire. This year, Forbes expanded its list from 16 cities to 25, located in 18 states. Forbes does not numerically rank the cities on its top-25 list. Forbes looked at weather, availability of doctors, serious crime rates, unemployment rates, job growth and encouragement for an active retirement.
Tulsa Home Construction Up 25 Percent
Home construction in the Tulsa area continued to build on its recovery from the bottom, according to new figures from New Orders Weekly. Approximately 191 building permits were issued in May, down slightly from 200 recorded last month, but up 29.9 percent over May 2011. The 925 new homes that have begun construction to date are now 24.5 percent ahead of the year-to-date total for the same period last year.
NGL Completes Merger with High Sierra
Tulsa-based NGL Energy Partners LP completed its announced merger with High Sierra Energy LP and High Sierra Energy GP LLC. The local propane distributor acquired Denver-based High Sierra’s combined crude oil gathering, water treatment and natural gas liquids assets for $693 million. The merger will provide NGL with a fleet of railcars, crude oil gathering and pipeline injection facilities, trucks and a treatment plant for production water. NGL now employs 1,600 people nationwide, including 55 at its Tulsa headquarters.
Port of Catoosa Main Dock to be Rehabilitated
The Tulsa Port of Catoosa’s main dock will be getting major improvements, paid for in part by a federal grant announced in late June. The U.S. Department of Transportation will give the port $6.4 million as part of a $12.3 million dock rehabilitation project. Plans call for the demolition of a 32,000-square-foot vacant structure, repaving the site and the installation of a new 150-ton mobile crane. Additionally, port officials plan to refurbish the port’s 40-year-old crane, nearly doubling the dock’s loading and unloading capacity and allowing two to three barges to load and unload at a time.
Osage Nation Upgrading all Seven Casinos
What began as a renovation of a single Osage Nation Casino has grown to an effort to upgrade and rebuild all seven of the tribe’s casinos with a minimum of $9 million invested in each facility. The announcement was made during the ribbon cutting ceremony for the tribe’s newly-renovated casino in Sand Springs. The Sand Springs location was the tribe’s first casino, built in 2004, and was the first of their seven locations to be upgraded.
Muskogee Airport Receives Grant from Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission
Muskogee’s Davis Field will receive a $500,000 grant from the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission to replace its terminal building at a cost of $1,135,800. The City of Muskogee will provide $635,800 in matching funds for the project. The terminal will provide features found in most major air terminals including a public reception area, modern restrooms, administrative offices, conference rooms, pilot flight planning facilities as well as other amenities.
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Webco Opens New Facility in Sand Springs