250 new jobs coming to Bartlesville

BARTLESVILLE, Okla. - One of the world's largest engineering companies plans to expand its operations in Bartlesville.

ABB, which manufactures gas measuring equipment, currently leases a facility at a city-owned industrial park east of town.

The booming oil and gas market convinced the Switzerland-based company  to expand.

On Monday, councilors approved a plan allowing the Bartlesville Development Corporation, which oversees the industrial park, to borrow $17 million. The money will be used to construct an adjoining building to the one ABB currently leases.

The expansion will double the plant's workspace and workforce with 250 new jobs.

"ABB will renew a 10 year lease that will pay off the cost of construction," said David Wood, president of the Bartlesville Development Corporation.

Wood said the new jobs carry an average salary of $75,000.

Wood said the expansion will pump $19 million into the local economy, including $15 million in retail sales and $400,000 in sales tax.

Councilors also approved a plan to take an additional $2 million from the Economic Development Fund.

The expansion is expected to be complete in April 2014, according to Wood.

CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS

City councilors also reviewed a list of potential capital improvement projects that could be funded through an extension of Bartlesville's half-cent sales tax.

The tax, which voters first approved in 1999, is set to expire in 2014.

"With that we purchase equipment, police cars are a large part of it," said Bartlesville city manager Ed Gordon. "Typically about 30 percent is used for street improvements."

Gordan said $14.5 million could be generated if voters extend the tax for five years.

Gordan also said the city is considering asking voters to extend the tax for 7 years, which would result in $21 million.

Gordon said councilors still have to approve a final list of projects before the issue is sent to voters for their consideration, likely in June.
 

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