By Chris Day
STILLWATER, Okla. —
Stillwater became the first to officially join an economic development organization which is being created to foster cooperation among the city, Chamber of Commerce, Oklahoma State University and Stillwater Industrial Foundation. Councilors unanimously approved a memorandum of understanding creating the Stillwater Economic Development Advisory Council at Monday’s City Council meeting.
The advisory group will increase cooperation and communication and prevent duplication of services in economic development, City Manager Dan Galloway said.
The city conducts its own retail and restaurant recruitment efforts, but has a contract with the chamber for industrial recruitment, Galloway said.
Oklahoma State University is involved with economic development through its research and other projects, he said. The Stillwater Industrial Foundation is a not-for-profit organization that assists and promotes industrial growth and development in Stillwater.
The advisory council will not receive any funding or set policies, Galloway said. Its members can vote and make recommendations to the four entities, which ultimately will make their own decisions.
“It will allow us to more efficiently use our resources,” Galloway said.
The council will be comprised of eight voting members — two each from the City Council, chamber Executive Board, Stillwater Industrial Foundation Board of Directors and Oklahoma State University. Members will serve until replaced by their respective group.
Stillwater’s city manager and the Stillwater Chamber President/CEO will serve as nonvoting members of the council. The Stillwater Industrial Foundation and Oklahoma State University may appoint one staff person each as nonvoting members.
The three other entities have not approved the memorandum of understanding, yet. No advisory council members have been appointed, Galloway said, adding he hoped the first meeting could be held in February.