Arburckle Mountains Windfarm, Davis Oklahoma
PAT JONESDirector - Community & Economic Development
HOPE SMITHGrants Coordinator

Community and Economic Development Division

The Community & Economic Development Division (CED) provides technical assistance to local governments for grant writing and project administration to improve infrastructure, create jobs and improve local economies throughout the SODA ten-county service area. SODA CED provides advice, consultation, and planning assistance to member communities primarily through two funding agencies: the Oklahoma Department of Commerce (ODOC) and the U. S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration (EDA).

SODA CED assists member governments in the identification of potential infrastructure projects and provides technical assistance with the development of applications for both the Community Development Block Grant/Economic Development Infrastructure Financing (CDBG/EDIF) program and the Economic Development Administration (EDA) program.

Additionally, SODA CED prepares a regional economic development plan every five years, called the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS),  with annual amendments as needed. The CEDS utilizes local data to build a regional blueprint for economic growth and development. The CEDS document also allows communities within the region to be eligible for federal Economic Development Administration (EDA) funding and identifies specific economic development projects. The CEDS is also recognized as an eligible planning document for other federal funding.

Rural Economic Action Plan Grants

In 1996 Oklahoma legislators created the Rural Economic Action Plan (REAP) program to provide funding assistance to rural areas in communities of less than 7,000 in population with priority placed on entities of 1,500 and below. These rural communities have few resources to meet the continuing and growing needs of their populace.

Legislative intent was to increase the availability of capital and promote economic growth, community stability, and improve the quality of life. These rural communities have benefited greatly from such projects as street and utility system improvements, the purchase of updated firefighting equipment, and the construction of modern community facilities.

Each year funds for REAP are allocated to SODA by the Oklahoma legislature. SODA receives and reviews applications and funds are awarded by the SODA Board of Directors. These Directors include representatives of municipal and county governments, conservation districts, and minority populations. SODA serves as the administrator for the grants. (You can access the REAP application under More options.)

Community Development Block Grants

The Oklahoma Department of Commerce provides the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) that provides public infrastructure financing to help communities grow jobs, enable new business startups and expansions for existing businesses.  The EDIF meets a national objective that focuses on the development of viable urban communities by providing decent housing and a suitable living environment and expanding economic opportunities principally for people earning low to moderate income. The state program achieves this national objective by funding projects in which at least 51 percent of the new jobs created are make available to low and moderate income individuals. The type of projects funded are publicly owned and maintained improvements that will provide basic infrastructure services to a new or expanding business, including water, wastewater, transportation improvements, and rehabilitation and new construction of publicly owned industrial buildings.

The typical uses of these funds are:

  • Acquisition of real property for public ownership and maintenance
  • Acquisition of public facilities for public ownership and maintenance (except for buildings used for the general conduct of government)
  • Construction of public facilities
  • Installation of public facilities
  • Reconstruction of publicly owned and maintained industrial buildings or structures and other industrial real property
  • Rehabilitation of publicly owned and maintained industrial buildings or structures and other industrial real property
  • Administrative costs
  • Publicly owned fiber optic lines

Capital Improvement Planning

The Capital Improvement Planning (CIP) program helps communities inventory assets and prioritize needs for planning future capital improvements..  CED staff uses GIS technology to capture, digitize and map existing assets.

Economic Development Administration Grants

The U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration (EDA) was established under the Public Works and Economic Development Act of 1965 to generate jobs, help retain existing jobs, and stimulate industrial and commercial growth in economically distressed areas of the United States. EDA assistance is available to rural and urban areas of the United States experiencing high unemployment, low income, or other severe economic distress.

In fulfilling its mission, EDA is guided by the basic principle that distressed communities must be empowered to develop and implement their own economic development and revitalization strategies. Based on these locally-and regionally-developed priorities, EDA works in partnership with state and local governments, regional economic development districts, public and private nonprofit organizations, and Indian tribes. EDA helps distressed communities address problems associated with long-term economic distress, as well as sudden and severe economic dislocations including recovering from the economic impacts of natural disasters, the closure of military installations and other Federal facilities, changing trade patterns, and the depletion of natural resources.

EDA requires a Pre-Application and is used to make preliminary eligibility and grant rate determination, and to evaluate the competitiveness of the proposed project. The pre-application allows communities to obtain a preliminary review by EDA before undertaking the development of full application. Please contact us and we will be glad to assist you with the application process.