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The History of MODA

When the base closed, leaders recognized that they needed to redirect their efforts to address the economic decline created, and they would need a development organization to do it.

From their MOIF experience, local leaders had learned to develop relationships with influential and experienced people within the state development agencies and governor’s office.

Mr. Kliewer began to work closely with the state development agencies on the concept of what was to become the Midwestern Oklahoma Development Authority (MODA). In 1969 their efforts yielded the legislation which established MODA, and with foresight, was established as a statewide trust. Most of the land and buildings on the base had been conveyed to the city of Clinton, which leased them t to MODA as the managing agent until 1990. The portion that was not conveyed was the 900 housing units, for which MODA devised a plan to purchase. And they accomplished what they had begun.

The Cordell National Bank put together a loan for the residential units and MODA was able to pay off that loan with funds generated from the sale of some of the homes.

Throughout the years, the MODA Board of Trustees has been committed to the original intent of the Trust and continues to help and support community leaders to strengthen and develop cities and towns in the four counties of Washita, Beckham, Custer and Kiowa. Through grants, affordable housing, contributions, and donations MODA has helped overcome the economic losses that came with the closing of Clinton Sherman Airbase. Land and a duplex for the Burns Flat swimming pool /community center in 1997, sale of property for the Burns Flat Post office in 1980 and assistance in acquiring property for the Western Tech Center, are just a few of the examples of MODA’s work.

In 1989 the Midwestern Oklahoma Development Authority Trustees rededicated their commitment to Western Oklahoma by agreeing to pledge all of their assets to promote, attract and fund industry in the four counties, emphasizing that their role in area development will intensity with the addition of industrial financing by utilizing their funds and assets for economic growth throughout Western Oklahoma.

This emphasis on the four county areas, and not solely on one community, will fulfill the original intent of the trust.

In 1992 the Trustees turned over the water and sewer lines of the residential section of the Airpark to the Town of Burns Flat. The Town joined MODA in paying off the note on the system, to Farmers Home Administration, for sole ownership of the system. This transfer was initiated by the MODA Trustees in order to allow the Town of Burns Flat to acquire additional revenue for improvements and development in the Town.

Since the decision by the MODA Trustees in 1995, to award approved grants to the 29 cities and towns within the four county areas, dollars granted for improvements and development in these communities have exceeded $850,000., which when combined with the community dollars in these same grants, is well over $5,000,000.

The Trust has successfully continued to generate revenue through rentals and sales of the residential units located on the Airpark. Of the original 900 housing units, all but 201 have been sold. These funds have provided the Trustees with the means to continue with the original intent of the Trust, while providing affordable housing that will aid in a stronger population which benefits organizations such as civic groups, educational entities, churches etc….within the western Oklahoma communities.

The Trustees of Midwestern Oklahoma Development Authority would like to extend
an invitation to each of the communities located within the counties of Washita, Beckham, Custer and Kiowa to submit an application of a grant for economic development and/or improvements for the betterment of these communities.

As Western Oklahoma continues to grow and prosper, the Midwestern Oklahoma Development Authority will continue to be a vital part of its development.

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