JAY – Delaware County Commissioners voted two to one in favor of the development of a tax increment district on Monkey Island during their meeting Monday morning, approving the first resort tax increment financing (TIF) in the state of Oklahoma.
Commissioners Ken Crowder and Dave Kendrick voted to adopt the resolution for the project, with Commissioner Billy Cornell opting against the proposition.
The crowd of over 60 interested parties including Senator Charles Wyrick and State Representative Dr. Doug Cox, were silent when the vote was tallied, but applauded when Dan Batchelor of the Center for Economic Development Law in Oklahoma City, explained the next step to the process which is negotiations between the developer, Peter J. Boylan III, and the county commissioners for protection and personal arrangements.
The tax increment district will include 415 acres on Monkey Island. According to the developer, the acreage will be the home of a new hotel after the demolition of the present facility which is slated to begin as soon as August.
The TIF will divert approximately $25 million from the county, county health department, library, emergency services, Grove School systems and Vo-Tech facilities. The monies collected from the TIFwill be used to pay for amenities associated with the construction of the new resort, which will cost an estimated $50 million. The TIF could remain in place for 25 years.
The present plan consists of a 200 room four-star resort of approximately six stories with restaurants. Amenities, which the TIF will finance, include a convention center, wellness center, pool, spa, streets, and golf course improvements.
Commissioner Cornell in a statement regarding his opposition of the proposal said, “When I ran for this office, I asked people in my district what they expected from a county commissioner and they replied, ‘To be honest, to represent them and be their voice in county government on any issue that did not come to a public vote.’ I took an oath to do that. That’s exactly what I did today.”