#TheGoodStuff: CEDC Awarded AARP Grant

by Jim Cowan, CEDC Director

The Chickasha Economic Development Council was recently awarded the AARP Community Challenge Grant for quick-action projects that will create more livable communities for residents of all ages, backgrounds and abilities. The Chickasha EDC was one of only three recipients in Oklahoma, the other two were the Met Cares Foundation in Tulsa and the City of Eufaula.

These grant funds will be use here in Chickasha to create artistic crosswalks in the Downtown area. Once completed, they will help slow traffic and create a vibrant, pedestrian friendly area of Downtown for all ages. This is part of the EDC’s overall plan that also includes adding more bike racks and murals to help trigger Economic Development and improve quality of life. Numerous studies have shown that as a Downtown revitalizes, it helps the entire town grow and attract new business. When you look back on the early days of OKC’s Bricktown district, as it prospered it led to the growth of Automobile Alley, Film Row, Deep Duce, the Paseo, the Plaza District and Uptown 23rd.

The timing of adding crosswalk art, custom bike racks and artistic murals will be the perfect start to an even bigger economic engine when plans are unveiled for a Downtown Park. Again all we have to do is look at the impact that both The Gathering Place in Tulsa and Scissortail Park in OKC have had in those cities. Of course our park will be scaled to size for Chickasha, but once completed there is no doubt the impact that all of this will have on Chickasha.

The Chickasha EDC is very appreciative of the AARP Community Challenge Grant and our goal is to begin these visible results starting this fall. We want to send a message that we have seen what has worked in other places and we putting a plan in place to make it work right here in Chickasha. It’s an exciting time in Chickasha, pretty soon everyone will be able to see for themselves even more of #TheGoodStuff.

#TheGoodStuff is a weekly column that appears in the Chickasha Express-Star.