Hobart Is Coming Alive!
After successful careers and lives away, some of Hobart High School's graduates are coming home to Hobart and rejuvenating our old hometown with new life and businesses.
The following information has been supplied by Louis Sims, Class of '52. He has moved back home after a successful Law Enforcement career and is helping this new movement.
The business opened by Susanne Hughes
Senter and her husband Howard is reported to be growing and becoming more
stable all the
time. It is Diabetic Connection and Triple AAA Pharmacy. Donnie Wilson an essential part of this business. This is a nationwide call center,
etc. We are glad to have them in Hobart.
Another new business "Response
Scientific, Inc." a diabetic supplement
and a diabetic cream. Marketing is by a national firm Hill
and Knowlton. Sales are to pharmacies countrywide, no retail sales. The
company came from Florida and purchased the former Gold Bank Bldg at 5th and Main. Hobart Industries and individuals invested $100,000 in their private stock. Hobart is their corporate hqs and it is progressing very carefully. They have hired two or three people so far and expect to be at 8 or 10 by the end of the first year. By the end of the second year possibly up to 15-20 employees. They invested in building and Hobart invested in them. If any of you alums want to help, contact Hobart Industries Treasurer Scott Northrip or me. We are still looking for private investors. We have about $32,000 in private funds so far and have a goal of $50,000. The Hobart Industries money would then be available for other projects and we have plenty. Email Louis Sims at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 580 530-0339.
The old JC Penney building on 4th street
has been completely restore and
has a business in it "Lander's Ink" and also, "Silo Computers". It has
received state and national recognition already. Hobart native John Brown, who lives in New Jersey, made this restoration. Thanks John and his mother Doris Brown Strange.
Last Fall we applied for and received
a $75,000 grant to build a track at Bearcat Stadium It will be official for
school track meets, plus it will be a walking track for all citizens (they
now walk in the streets day and night). The cost is $225,000 total. We were
able to raise about $45,000 from County, City, businesses and individuals.
The Hobart School Board made
up the remainder. The County is doing in-kind dirt work now and inmate
labor will be used as much as possible for the building of the track. It
could not be located between the football stands as when our ancestors built the east stand, they did not allow for a track and put it to close. The
track will be located around the practice field just east of Bearcat
Stadium. Any ideas for portable stands, etc , please let us know. Completion will be in the early Spring 06. Then we can host 2 or 3 day HS track meets and bring people to Hobart to spend money.
Hobart Beautification Commission planted
large trees in many strategic
areas in Hobart back in Apr and May. The Lions Club worked with them on this project. Hobart Beautification has made a big difference in Hobart.
Hobart Main Street continues to award
Storefront Restoration Grants to
our local businesses. We will match their costs up to $1000 provided they
will follow the guidelines worked out with them by the Ok Main Street
Architect. His services are free to Hobart since we are a member of Ok Main Street. The architect keeps us from doing a lot of stupid things with our beautiful buildings. If they do not follow the architect's plan, no
restoration grant. For the last three years, we award at least one per
month. Where do we get the funds, we apply each year for $10,000 from MODA (Midwestern Ok Development Authority). Sometimes it is difficult as we have been asked to resubmit our application this year three
times (technicalities) starting last March. We hope to receive the award this month as it is ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL to continuing our
Storefront Restoration Grant Program in Hobart. As an example at this
moment we have the following being restored: Brenda's Hair and Nails,
Youth Center in the north Toma building on Washington, The Ben Franklin Building on Fourth Street, A&A Body Shop on Main Street (one block south of the KC Museum), Esquire Theater (front only at this time). We have many others in downtown who we are talking with to convince them to improve their storefront to interest new customers and to keep the old customers.
A $99,000 grant has just been awarded
to Hobart Economic Development Authority to make specific revolving loans
to five Hobart businesses for
expansion of their business and hiring additional people. This is from
the USDA Rural Development. Hobart was one of 22 applicants and there was only $400,000 available. Hobart's application received $99,000. This is a revolving loan which means that as the five businesses pay the money back, we can then loan it over and over to help businesses improve and expand in Hobart. This is administerred by the Hobart Economic Development Authority. How about a 2% interest rate with no closing or loan charges!
A grant of $148,000 has just been received
to restore the wall on Iris
Street (formerly Boundry), plus build a 4500 ' by 6' walkway or trail around and through that area from the Wall north around baseball
stadium, around the Scout huts and back to Iris along the wall. The City
has to match the grant with $29,000. We will need additional funds to light the trail and the pillars at the wall on Iris. These donations should go to City Hall designated for this specific project. This grant is from
the Ok Dept of Transportation for highway enhancement.
Hobart Schools will put forth a bond
issue in Oct 05 to build a new middle school and FFA building. It will be
located where the FFA building is now . The present Middle School cannot be
torn down before the new one is built as they will have about a one year overlap
they will need the old school to continue hold classes until the new one is
completed. The Elementary school bond will be paid off in 2006, so the
intent of the School Board is to have this plan ready to go as soon as that
building is paid off. We will all need to work to see that this issue passes in Oct 05. Help if you can as it is not a luxury, we need it.
If any of you are in Hobart any Tues
morning at 7:30 am, we have an
economic dev meeting one Tues, then Main Street meeting the next. Always a meeting on Tuesday mornings, so you are invited if in town.
Good Samaritan closed the 10 unit assisted
living facility in Hobart a
few months ago. Bill Finch, Elkview Hospital Administrator is doing a study to see if the hospital can build an assisted living center of probably 25 or more units. Then we would have control of the Assisted
Living Center. Bill is an excellent administrator and why not? He is one of us in the 1950-59 alumni of HHS.
Hobart made application to become a
National Historic District in our
downtown. This was awarded to Hobart in May 2005. Hobart historic building owners will now be eligible for a 20% tax credit at both the national and state levels for restoration and/or energy efficiency grants. This application process took about 3 years and we can give Stephen Boyd, C of C Manager and the Hobart Main Street Manager, most of the
credit for this success.
Hobart is an Ok Century Community as
recognized by the Ok Dept of
Commerce. The grant for the track at Bearcat Stadium was because of being an Ok Century Community. We just received notice about a
lighting grant of $25000 we must make application for by Aug 15, 2005. This project must effect the entire town of Hobart. We will meet next week to decide on one of three projects for this grant application. We welcome your input.
NEVER A DULL MOMENT IN HOBART - MORE GOING ON THAN YOU COULD EVER IMAGINE! COME ON BACK, WE NEED EACH ONE OF YOU AND YOU WILL HAVE FUN DOING IT!
The building of a Casino at Quartz Mountain.
The Kiowa Tribe have hired a development company which I have worked with
for the last year to bring a Casino to Quartz Mountain. Kiowa County is the
last Indian Land that can be converted back to Indian land for a Casino. Jackson,
Greer and Harmon Counties were not Indian Land. We will draw people
from everywhere west, south and some north and east. Those that go to
Casino's now go to Clinton or Lawton. Why not keep their money in Kiowa County plus bring in more people than probably any other one business. The Casino gp have met with the Quartz Mtn Lodge authorities to block room for them most of the year. This should be financially beneficial to the lodge where it struggles many of the winter months now. Actual location will be about 5 - 6 miles south of Lone Wolf on Hwy 44 at the intersection of North Shore Rd. It will be located just to the west of Hwy 44 on North Shore Rd. Eighty acres has being purchased by the Kiowas for the Casino.
Wind farms have sprung up everywhere
between Clinton and Weatherford. We have officially monitored the Hobart Communities
Wind Speeds at 40, 70 and 100 meters over the last 3 years and they are
commercial grade. We are in the process of taking these wind results to developers to bring wind farms to this part of Kiowa County. If you want to help on this project, let me know as I have more than I can do. Email or call me.
Four-lane highway 183. As you know when
Loyd Benson was Speaker of the House in Oklahoma he was able to get this four
lane started and it is
complete from Frederick to Snyder and from Clinton to Cordell. Loyd is now out of the legislature but we have been instrumental in getting him to
accept a position of the Ok Highway Commission. Through his help and the help of the communities on the l83 corridor between Snyder and Cordell, each has passed a resolution calling for the highway sections
between Cordell and Snyder to be completed first and the sections through the towns completed next. Before Loyd Benson's intervention, we were not in the Ok Dept of Transportation's 8 year plan to finish the four-lane on 183. Just today I was told by Commissioner Benson that we are now back in the plans to complete the sections between towns first and this should begin in the next few months. If you don't know Comm Benson, you should. He is someone who can get things done and he is always helping Hobart and this community. If you know him, let him know how much we appreciate him.
Last but not least, the Oklahoma Spaceport
progress is moving right on
schedule. In Dec 05, the licensing of the Ok Spaceport should take place by the FAA and the property will transfer at that time from the City of Clinton to the State of Oklahoma. The Oklahoma Space Industry Development Authority will run the Ok Spaceport at Burns Flat, Ok. We have a $30 million investor now and he is building a plane to have the first commercial flight to space in 2007 from the Ok Spaceport. In 2006 there will be at least 50 test flights. At this point, Ok is ahead of every other state. You have heard of the "Space Ship One" in Mohave Desert that flew earlier this year to win the $10 million "X Prize"? Well, they won the prize, but Ok is scheduled to have the first commercial space flights. In case you are interested, it will cost about $100,000 to take the flight to space and per a national survey some 15,000 people are waiting to fly. I am on the seven member board since 2001 and I can tell you it is exciting for SW Oklahoma and Oklahoma.
Hope this is of interest to all of you who love Hobart. Come on back!
Some 50's HHS Grads are working hard
to make Hobart grow,
Jeanean Lemon Dees, Linda Tull Binghom, Gwen Jones Sims, Jerry Levine, Tom Talley (60's) and many others who I cannot now think of. As Mayor, Tom Talley is absolutely invaluable. Many times each week, I know that I have quetions that I need to run past Tom. He always provides that guidance needed to keep things moving in Hobart.
Louis Sims, Class of 52
This has a lot of photos and info on
the Main Street Project.
Hobart is on the National Register.
This link has a video on the downtown project.
Hobart's All Century team.
Center-Bill (Mud) Hubbard (1950)
Attended Texas Tech University on scholarship
Wide Reciever-Junior Wolf (1955)
Starter at Panhandle State
Shares National NAIA passing record for TD passes
in one game
Main Street Tidbits
The Farmer’s Market has been going very well with many growers selling their fruits, vegetables, and various other items. The response from the public has been very good.
Bearcat Deli & Expresso Bar has added Italian Food to its menu items, and it is very good.
Two new businesses will open soon. Bill Rains will open a pawn shop at 215 S. Main, and Baltimore Hernandez’s Lil’ Hacienda Mexican Restaurant will open at 122 W. 4th Street. Everyone should welcome these new businesses to the downtown area.
Renovation projects are the J.C. Penny’s building by John Brown, Toma Building by John Muldrow, Dimension Theater Building by InterBank, and Hobart Seed Buildings by the City of Hobart. Lonnie Olson has done some storefront renovations on his building, and it looks very good. The interior of the Democrat Chief office also has been repainted and looks very nice.
Tommie and Jose Rodriquez, who have operated Gino’s Mexican Restaurant, will open their new Pepe’s Mexican Restaurant on the corner of Washington and S. 5th Street.
The Main Street Painters meet every 2nd & 4th Wednesday, 1:00 p.m., at BancFirst. Everyone is invited to come and paint with us.
The Hobart Main Street Program was been designated as a 2004 National Main Street Program.
The Courthouse Lighting Project still is in need of additional funding for the 11 Antique Street Lights that will go around the Kiowa County Courthouse Square.
Kiowa County Free Fair will be Sept 8-11 at the fairgrounds.
Page, July 21, 2005