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Oklahoma's business climate is attractive to companies in other states

About 100 jobs are being added in Oklahoma as two companies transfer operations from Iowa and California to plants in Enid and Tulsa. The state Council of Bond Oversight approved financial deals to help pay a share of the expansion costs.
BY MICHAEL MCNUTT Published: August 31, 2012

The other deal involves Advance Pierre Foods, which was started in Enid as Advance Foods and is based in Cincinnati after a couple of mergers. Advance is planning a $12.9 million expansion at two of its production plants in Enid. Plans are to close an Orange City, Iowa, plant and relocate operations to Enid, Davis said.

The expansion will include building renovations and equipment upgrades which will result in an additional 50 jobs in about five years. Advance has about 780 workers at its Enterprise and 59th Street plants.

The note agreements with both Lufthansa and Advance will have a 2 percent fixed rate of interest, according to papers provided to Council of Bond Oversight members.

Each agreement is for $3 million.

The financial arrangement is through a state program that allows the company's employee withholding taxes to be collected by the Oklahoma Tax Commission and placed in a special account.

That money will be transferred to the Oklahoma Finance Development Authority and will be used to pay the debt service on the notes.

The arrangement was established in a 2002 law; it was reviewed and upheld in 2004 by the state Supreme Court.

$100M program

Money for the expansion comes from a program that was allowed to award $100 million for various economic development projects.

It has awarded or committed about $57 million so far, Davis said, which includes $20 million approved two years ago for the Goodyear plant in Lawton.

The revenue notes are considered to be special obligations of the Oklahoma Development Finance Authority and are not construed to be an obligation of the state.