An upbeat assessment of Ardmore's new year - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

An upbeat assessment of Ardmore's new year

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Ardmore business leaders see a strong year ahead in 2018. (KTEN) Ardmore business leaders see a strong year ahead in 2018. (KTEN)
New construction is expected to bring more jobs to Ardmore in 2018. (KTEN) New construction is expected to bring more jobs to Ardmore in 2018. (KTEN)

ARDMORE, Okla. -- The ball isn't dropping quite yet, but Ardmore city employees are counting down to 2018.

There are new restaurants, several multi-million dollar projects, a new fire department facility, growth for existing businesses... and the list goes on.

The new year looks busy and promising for Ardmore, with a number of construction projects that will drive employment.

"There's a couple of projects we have been working on for a very, very long period of time that are actually going to be starting in 2018," said Assistant City Manager Kevin Boatright.

A multi-million dollar street makeover near Ardmore's depot district along with as a nearly $5 million family entertainment center near Regional Park could be checked off the list this year. A new fire station is already underway on Veterans Boulevard.

Assistant City Manager Kevin Boatright named several new restaurants that might take your order in 2018.

"On Broadway there's a Casa Taco; I think on Commerce there is a Popeyes, and then a Wadley's BBQ, which is a franchise out of Oklahoma City," he said.

The beginning stages of a new shopping center on 12th Street are also expected to take flight soon. But with all this growth, Chamber of Commerce president Mita Bates said there's a need for skilled workers.

"We think it is important as we speak with our local business and industry that we reach out to our students as early as eighth grade to make them aware what career opportunities are, and within those opportunities what kind of courses of study do they need to take," she said.

Bates adds that next year's new tax codes will save current businesses money, meaning there could be further expansion.

"It actually lowers the tax burden for the majority of businesses, and so that allows them to take that money that historically would have gone toward taxes," Bates said.

Bates also expects more local consumer spending as a result of that tax reform measure. She said she's excited to see what the future holds for this city.

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