LAWTON, Okla. (TNN) - Lawton City Council members unanimously approved a funding agreement with LEDC to purchase the Old Fairmont Creamery.
Councilman Jay Burk said the opportunity this facility presents Lawton is unlike anything the city has seen in many years.
He said he understands some citizen frustration, but what will soon go into the facility will change the minds of many people not on board yet.
“It’s been years of people saying they wanted an entertainment area to go there, and I know the owner did as well. But when you don’t have a buyer, you don’t have anyone investing in that building, it’s not going to be cheap. But these defense contractors have a lot deeper pockets sometimes,” said Councilman Jay Burk.
The decision to use the creamery -- Burk said that wasn’t even made by council or LEDC.
“That was chosen by a lot of these defense contractors. That’s where they wanted to be. They found a building that suited their needs,” said Burk.
Brad Cooksey, the LEDC president said this decision tonight means this project can get rolling immediately.
“We have to do an engineering study on the building to make sure it’s feasible for us to remodel it, and turn it into the FISTA. We are already engaged with several companies looking to acme here, and for us to be able to say we now have the funding, it means the world to this project,” said Brad Cooksey.
Cooksey said a crucial part of this has been the support of our state leaders, including Governor Stitt, Senator’s Inhofe and Lankford, as well as Congressman Cole.
“They know what’s going in Lawton. They are keeping an eye on what we are doing down here. For us to pass our CIP, to get the funding available for this project, it speaks volumes to where Lawton is going,” said Cooksey.
Burk said obviously they are thrilled about the possibility of new, high tech jobs that connect Lawton with Ft. Sill, but he said he, and council are equally excited about finding a use for that historic building in Downtown.
“It meant so much to so many people years ago. The intent is to keep the outside exactly the way it is, but also, make it a historic place people can see forever. It’s not going away, and I think that’s exciting," said Burk.
Burk said more announcements will be made in the next few weeks regarding what exactly will go on inside, and more details on the companies that could soon call Lawton their new home.
Council also voted not to extend the contract of Interim City Attorney Bob Ross. They will announce a decision on the permanent City Attorney in the next few weeks.