Guymon Daily Herald
SITES program addressing infrastructure needs, bringing increased opportunities
In February, the Oklahoma Department of Commerce (Commerce) announced the launch of its new Supporting Industrial Transformation and Economic Success (SITES) Program. The SITES Program is proactively addressing statewide site infrastructure needs to meet the demand of existing businesses as well as companies looking to establish operations in Oklahoma.
Beginning March 20, communities may submit applications to receive a portion of the $29.95 million currently unallocated from the Progressing Rural Economic Prosperity (PREP) Fund to assist with the creation of new industrial sites or address infrastructure needs at existing sites. To be eligible, projects must be designed to create nationally marketable industrial sites. Priority will be given to projects that are “last mile” projects. Meaning that the needed element is considered the final piece of infrastructure for a site to have the water, sewer, electric, natural gas and/ or fiber capacities needed for industrial purposes and to close gaps in needs for the site to be nationally marketable. Applications will be accepted until 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, May 31.
“Since 2018, Commerce has seen a 90% increase in economic development projects in the state,” said Brent Kisling, Executive Director, Oklahoma Department of Commerce. “Through the SITES program, we are showing that Oklahoma is committed to making legacy improvements into industrial site infrastructure across the state. We are ready to connect communities with funding they need to bridge the gap in getting a site ready for the national and international stage.”
Applications must be submitted through grants.ok.gov. Entities are required to pre-register through the portal before applying. Registration takes approximately five minutes, but portal account approval may take up to two business days after the registration is submitted. Entities that are already registered through OK-Grants do not need to register again. For more information on the SITES program, visit okcommerce.gov/sitesok.