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Oklahoma City Council Approves Incentives For Paycom, Boeing; Overholser Entertainment

The modernized cockpit of a C-130 cargo plane, one of the projects at Boeing's Oklahoma City facility.
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The modernized cockpit of a C-130 cargo plane, one of the projects at Boeing's Oklahoma City facility.

Oklahoma City Council members signed off on $7.2 million worth of incentives Tuesday designed to encourage Paycom Software and aircraft manufacturer Boeing to create 1,300 new jobs and expand their facilities in central Oklahoma.

During the meeting, Ward 8 councilmember Mark Stonecipher said the Paycom deal would create 423 new jobs over the next two years, with an average salary of about $51,000.

Full video of Tuesday's City Council meeting in Oklahoma City. The Paycom/Boeing discussion takes place at 47:25.

“Paycom has been here 16 years, and they’re willing to invest in Oklahoma City by spending $16 million in a new building and equipment,” Stonecipher said. “So I want to thank their board of directors, their management, and their employees.”

The Journal Record's Brian Brus reports Boeing plans to use the incentive money to help build an $80 million, 290,000-square-foot facility in southeast Oklahoma City near the site of its current plant. It's estimated to have a $640 million economic impact over four years.

Boeing’s stake in Oklahoma includes about 1,850 employees, primarily in Oklahoma City with the remainder at Altus and Vance Air Force bases. The company works with about 150 Oklahoma-based suppliers, and more than 5,000 of the company’s retirees live in the state. The Boeing programs relocating to Oklahoma City, along with the work already based in the city, are part of the company’s aircraft maintenance and sustainment subdivision, which maintains and upgrades existing aircraft and weapons systems for the U.S. military. Those systems include the B-1B Lancer bomber, KC-135 tanker and C-130 transport.

City leaders also endorsed a plan to allow entertainment along Lake Overholser despite concerns from some homeowners.

KFOR-TV reports upgrades include a zip line, giant swing and renovated boathouse along the Canadian Rover, on the east side of the lake.

Some residents who live nearby came to the city council to protest the rezoning, saying they don’t like the idea of a large riverfront playground near their back yard. About $250,000 in improvements had already be made prior to the request for rezoning.

The change allows the OKC Boathouse Foundation to continue a $1 million investment into the development.

In an email presented on the City Council agenda, Oklahoma City resident Lynda Gervais said she and her neighbors are concerned the development would obstruct their lake view.

"We are encouraged about the park enhancements but are against the commercialization of the plots shown," Gervais said. "There is already a commercial zoned area at 39th and Overholser Drive. That's where retail and offices should go."

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Brian Hardzinski is from Flower Mound, Texas and a graduate of the University of Oklahoma. He began his career at KGOU as a student intern, joining KGOU full time in 2009 as Operations and Public Service Announcement Director. He began regularly hosting Morning Edition in 2014, and became the station's first Digital News Editor in 2015-16. Brian’s work at KGOU has been honored by Public Radio News Directors Incorporated (PRNDI), the Oklahoma Association of Broadcasters, the Oklahoma Associated Press Broadcasters, and local and regional chapters of the Society of Professional Journalists. Brian enjoys competing in triathlons, distance running, playing tennis, and entertaining his rambunctious Boston Terrier, Bucky.
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