The Ardmore Development Authority approved its budget Monday, which includes many new projects for the Ardmore Municipal Airport, funding for a labor study and creation of a strategic plan.
“This budget is very reflective of where we’re headed for the next 12 months,” ADA President and CEO Mita Bates said. “I feel like the Development Authority ended the year in a good place.”
The ADA’s budget includes $3.69 million to be spent on capital projects, like making improvements to the Ardmore Industrial Airpark on the industrial and aviation sides. As the fiscal year begins, the ADA will finish up key projects from last year, namely the completion of the control tower and repaving of Taxiway A.  
Once last year’s lingering tasks are wrapped up, the Development Authority plans to begin doing crack and seal work on Taxiway B, replace their weather alert system and repair Boeing Road.
However, these projects won’t be cheap.
The work on Taxiway B, the airports smaller taxiway, is expected to cost the ADA $70,000. This cost stems from the fact that taxiways and pavement at airports have to be held to a high standard so as not to damage the planes that taxi on them. Repairs to Boeing Road are expected to cost the Authority around $10,000 and the new Automated Weather Observing System is expected to cost $125,000.
Bates said the AWOS hasn’t been replaced in over 25 years and needs to be replaced so that the airport can be modernized.
“It’s like watching a 25-year-old television,” Bates said. “It’s very outdated.”
Bates added that the proposed capital projects will attract more aviation oriented industries to the area, or industries who use large planes to ship out their products.
The ADA will also complete work on the 80,000 square foot warehouse they built after a storm knocked down the old structure. The remaining work will cost the Authority $400,000 because a specialized fire suppression system will have to be installed to accommodate the large structure. Andrea Anderson, director of marketing and industry relations for the ADA, said they already have parties interested in renting the space, but was unable to divulge company names.
The ADA’s labor study will not only prove beneficial in knowing what type of businesses would be good to attract to the airpark, but will also provide a snapshot of Ardmore and the surrounding areas.
“Over the next year, the labor study will be a critical component in looking at the area as a whole moving forward,” Bates said. “We need this study so that we know what kind of industry we should recruit.
Facilitating a labor study will provide key insights into the demand versus the supply of labor in Ardmore, what the average pay in the area is by industries, occupational characteristics of the work being done, educational attainments of those in the workforce, and how all of these factors influence the market and economic conditions in the area.
In addition to the labor study, the ADA will create a new strategic plan. This plan will examine the strategy the ADA uses and look at what interests the market has for the economic opportunities the ADA is offering. Bates described this plan as “bringing all the players on the same page.”
Combined, the strategic plan and the labor study will cost the ADA $55,000.
Bates said she hopes all the improvements the Authority has in store over the next year will help keep the ADA on track to facilitate growth throughout Ardmore.