Member Spotlight the Johnston County Industrial Authority

This week’s Member Spotlight is on the Johnston County Industrial Authority (JCIA)! JCIA has been in operation since 1968, formed under a Title 60 Trust, with Johnston County designated as the beneficiary of the Trust. The board is made up of nine active members and up to three ad hoc members from across the county, and all appointed by the Johnston County Commissioners. Current board members include: Cindy Matheny, Chair; Scott Clark, Vice Chair; Judy Huston, Secretary; Dan Childs, Seigel Paul Heffington, Travis Miller, T.G. Orr, Donna Powell and Lisa Shephard. Ad hoc members include: Travis Mason and Joy McDaniel.

The goal of JCIA is to promote economic development throughout Johnston County. They do this by constructing, purchasing, and leasing properties and helping to maintain industrial and manufacturing activities in the county. Oftentimes, they are able to provide or arrange funds for the cost of construction, purchase, lease, and remodel of buildings through various grants. 

The Authority assisted Sundowner Trailers in Coleman with its initial funding in the mid-1980s, through a Community Development Block Grant from the Oklahoma Department of Commerce.  The Tishomingo Industrial Park was established in January of 1992 and is home to five businesses, two of which are owned and leased by the JCIA; these include Nitro-Lift Fabrication and Tape Matics. A water tower was built in the Park after a partnership was formed between JCIA, the Chickasaw Nation, and USDA Rural Development through a grant program. In August of 2009, a smaller industrial park was established in Mill Creek and is currently home to 3-C Cattle Feeders. 

Several years ago, the JCIA initiated a Building Frontage/Site Improvement Program (BFSI) to assist businesses in the County when improving the façade of their buildings. The BFSI is a revolving loan program awarded annually in July, and has had considerable success over the years. The project loans up to $5,000 per business applicant, at no interest, to improve and enhance their business facades. This year, JCIA also offered signage grants for up to $1,000 per business. Each recipient is then required to pay back one-half of the loan within one year in order for there to be funds available for subsequent years. 

Currently, the group is working on getting one of the buildings recently vacated in the Tishomingo Industrial Park back up to leasable condition. If you are interested in starting a business and need a location, contact Cindy Matheny or any member of the JCIA board. Thanks for being a member of the Johnston County Chamber of Commerce, JCIA!

Read next week for a Spotlight on Great Western Dining Company!

Just a reminder to please attend the State of the County on Thursday, November 29th at 6:00 p.m. at the Murray State College Ballroom. This event is free to the public, with residents in-mind, and will be a great evening of information and networking. See you there!