Since the creation of the South Western Oklahoma Development Authority, one of the primary missions has been to provide planning and technical assistance to local units of government. SWODA is an extension of local governments. These local governments jointly fund SWODA staff in order to provide essential services, which would not be feasible to have on their own.
The Local and Regional Capital Improvement Planning Act of 1991 (CIP) sets out a framework that encourages planning for future development, growth and improvement through inventory and analysis, policy development and implementation strategy. SWODA staff works with the municipality to collect inventory details including all city owned assets. The information is compiled into a database, which is then connected to digitized maps.
SWODA provides assistance to cities, towns, and counties in implementing zoning codes, subdivision regulations, building and housing codes, and other development standards and codes. Also, SWODA assists in complying with state and federal requirements, including Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Equal Opportunity (EEOC), Fair Housing, and Civil Rights. At the state level, assistance covers the Open Meetings Act, Open Records Act, the employment process, purchasing, and procurement requirements.
Conservation Districts are required to prepare and maintain 5-year and annual conservation plans. SWODA assists the districts with this development effort.
A regional comprehensive plan has been prepared and maintained by SWODA. This plan not only qualifies regional entities for federal and state grants and loans, but it also serves as a foundation for municipal, county and conservation plans. The regional plan addresses concerns such as land use, housing environmental quality, transportation, economic development and quality of life.
Another key role of SWODA has been to provide review and coordination for federal, state, and local government projects. This function eliminates duplication and waste in resource management and development, and minimizes conflicts in environmental issues.
Local governments can receive assistance in floodplain management activities, including mapping of flood prone areas, development of floodplain management ordinances, building inspection procedures, and elevation certificates. A SWODA staff member is a Certified Floodplain Manager (CFM) by the Oklahoma Floodplain Managers Association (OFMA).
A hazard is an existing or impending event or condition that threatens life, property, and/or critical infrastructures - a disaster. Mitigation is the ongoing effort to lessen the impact that hazards have on people and property. SWODA developed 8 multi-jurisdictional, multi-hazard mitigation plans. (Including 8 counties and 45 cities and towns). All eight plans have been FEMA approved, and communities have since received application assistance with mitigation grant opportunities.
Providing program assistance in downtown redevelopment, historic preservation, the Oklahoma Main Street Program, and the Certified Cities Program is a service SWODA offers.
SWODA assists communities in the planning and development of park and recreational facilities. Assistance includes grant/loan searches and applications, park design and plan, and construction consultation.
SWODA houses demographic, labor force, employment, and economic data and information of the US Bureau of Census, Bureau of Economic Analysis, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Oklahoma Employment Security Commission, and Oklahoma Department of Agriculture.
Other state and local generated data is also housed at SWODA, i.e. taxes, government expenditures, and quality of life indicators.
SWODA, from time to time, has assisted local, state, and federal governments in conducting surveys, gathering information, researching projects, and preparing special studies and reports.
These services may require fees to the requesting party.
Director of Community & Economic Development: