McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

March 12, 2012

Agent representing FedEx land-buy first turned down by City Council

By Jeanne LeFlore
Staff Writer

McALESTER — FedEx’s recent purchase of property near the Steven Taylor Industrial Park is a positive addition to the community according to the McAlester City Manager but in August McAlester’s own city council voted against selling city property to the company. 

City Manager Pete Stasiak who originally placed the item on the agenda for the city council said he was pleased that the company decided to stay in McAlester.

“This is a tremendous asset to the community,” said Pete Stasiak McAlester City Manager after hearing the news of the purchase.

The McAlester-News Capital reported in August that during a McAlester city council meeting MPower Economic Development Executive Director Shari Cooper stood in front of the council and launched an intense argument against selling a parcel of land for a business expansion at Steven Taylor Industrial Park.

Cooper is the executive director of MPower, which is almost totally funded with city of McAlester tax dollars, Cooper is charged with fostering economic development in the city.

During the August meeting, Cooper maintained that she would need the land if she could persuade a major industry to locate in McAlester.

Ward 2 Councilor Steve Harrison also came out against the proposal. “If we sell the first five acres, the rest of the property becomes, worthless,” he said.

Because the five acres of land is at the front of the 30-acre site, the city would keep an easement for access to the remaining acreage, according to Stasiak.

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Contact Jeanne LeFlore at jlefore@mcalesternews.com.