BARTLESVILLE, Okla. - A study will soon be under way in order put together a strategy to draw more retail offerings, including restaurants and shopping venues, to Bartlesville.
The Bartlesville City Council on Monday night approved a contract with Texas-based Angelou Economics to update the city's Strategic Plan for a Globally Competitive Community last updated in 2006.
Community Development Director Lisa Beeman who presented the contract said the scope of the update will include a retail analysis made up of an assessment and data analysis of the existing retail centers and potential for new retail establishment, a community survey concerning spending habits and retail preferences, and an examination of retail economic development programs.
Also coming out of the study will be an update to the plan's quality of life section which focuses on retail offerings, park and recreation development, housing and diversity and cultural offerings.
Lastly, the study will present a community scorecard, an assessment of Bartlesville's climate, workforce, education, sites, infrastructure, economic development and marketing.
All three elements of the study will cost $45,000 along with travel expenses, all the costs to be shared by the city and Bartlesville Area Chamber of Commerce – effectively making the cost to the city $22,500.
A major goal of the study is to explore the possibility of working with a national developer to create a destination retail development such as an outlet mall or sports-oriented stores such as Cabelas or Bass Pro, while another goal is developing Dewey's antique district, according to a memo given to councilors.
Beeman told councilors the study, if the contract was accepted by council, would begin by mid-August, adding later that the study with its focus on retail would bring more jobs to the area.
Following the presentation, while the four other councilors voiced their support for study, Councilor Dr. Erin Tullos who later voted against the study said such a study should be more about drawing businesses that bring primary jobs creation, not retail jobs as does this study.
She said bringing retail to the area brings no new money to the region, but only reshuffles where money is spent, whereas manufacturing jobs bring money back into the community.
Councilor Dale Copeland in countering said jobs are jobs, that people looking for jobs are happy to get a job whether in retail or manufacturing.
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