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The Shawnee News-Star
  • Ardmore among nation's elite in lowest-cost-of-living rankings

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  • National recognition has once again shined its light on Ardmore.
    In the most recent issue of Business Facilities, Ardmore was ranked fourth in the nation among metros for the lowest cost of living. The rankings were mainly regional, with Texas cities Harlingen and McAllen topping the list. Norman was ranked third, with Muskogee also making the list at No. 8.
    "It's a good ranking in one of several categories that matter, and you want to pitch to your strength," says Brian Carter, interim president and CEO for the Ardmore Development Authority. "The most important issues come back to workforce, quality of life, education and ease of doing business with the community."
    Carter said the ADA is committed to providing the services that, in combination with low cost of living, make Ardmore an appealing destination for industry.
    "For example, we have a new factory," Carter said. "I received a call that they had hit a snag converting their newly purchased building to their needs. I didn't just give them a number. I picked that person up and took them to the industry for a face-to-face meeting."
    Ardmore city manager J.D. Spohn credited the different components that make up a community for the national recognition.
    "We have a number of great industries that are diverse, so we have low unemployment," Spohn said. "We have a good quality of life, excellent parks and recreational opportunities. We have excellent educational systems with Ardmore City Schools, Plainview Public Schools and the University Center of Southern Oklahoma and Southern Oklahoma Technology Center."
    Spohn also said Ardmore's location between Dallas and Oklahoma City make the city attractive to people. He also cited the organizations within Ardmore dedicated to making it an outstanding community.
    "Our location provides residents an affordable day trip with access to recreational opportunities that are not found in smaller communities," Spohn said. "The value to this community is our foundations and trusts. They play an integral role in enhancing our community through support and grants."
    Ardmore's location also allows it to feed off Oklahoma City and Dallas-Fort Worth's success in the recent economic rankings. The Dallas area was ranked second in job growth leaders, eighth in recovery employment leaders and fourth for merchandise received. Oklahoma City was fifth in recovery employment leaders and fourth as a manufacturing employment leader.
    Business Facilities magazine has recognized Ardmore in the past. In 2012, the Ardmore Development Authority was named the nation's top economic development organization for communities of 50,000 or less. In 1998, the ADA was also named the nation's best Regional Development Organization.
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