McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

Local News

January 8, 2013

City Council meets tonight

McALESTER — An item calling for city councilors to get the city’s proposed new Belmont Trail plan on-track and presentation of a new marketing plan are among the items on the agenda for the McAlester City Council’s first meeting of 2013.

Also on the agenda is the annual mid-year budget review, which refers to the middle of the fiscal year which began on July 1, 2012.

The meeting is set to begin at 6 tonight in the council chambers at City Hall.

The proposed Belmont Trail, in south McAlester, is less than an eighth of a mile from Will Rogers Elementary School and Will Rogers Park, according to city documents.

Councilors are being asked to consider and act upon authorizing Mayor Steve Harrison to sign the McAlester Belmont Trail Project Application along with supporting documents seeking grant assistance from the Oklahoma Recreational Trails Program.

The Belmont Trail Project, part of proposed link of pedestrian and bicycle trails in the city, was identified as a top priority due to the bridge crossing the canal near Illinois Avenue, according to city documents.

Currently, the bridge is not compliant with the American with Disabilities Act, but the plan calls for it to be replaced with a new structure designed to meet ADA standards.

The city is applying for a $160,000 federal grant, which would require a $34,051 cash match and a $31,067 in-kind match, for a total cost of $225,118, according to city documents.

City crews would pave the asphalt portion of the trail to meet the in-kind match and the city would pay for the asphalt, city documents state.

In addition to bicycles and pedestrian traffic, such as walkers and runnes, the trail could also be used by those on skate boards, roller blades and mountain bikes.

On another item, John Abbate, of the Mississippi-based Marketing Alliance and Shari Cooper, executive director of MPower Economic Development, plan to present a new marketing and branding plan, along with a proposed new city logo, to the city council during tonight’s meeting.

Also during the meeting, city Chief Financial Officer Toni Ervin plans to present the mid-year budget review to the city council.

In other action city councilors also plan to:

• Consider and act upon a change in zoning from A-1, an agricultural district, to C-5, a highway commercial district,  and authorizing the mayor to sign the attached ordinance.

The McAlester Planning and Zoning Commission met on December 18 in connection with the question and voted unanimously to change the zoning as requested, according to city documents.

Roger Dahlgren, representative for the trust which owns the property, said the trust had owned it since 1985 and had been in touch with City Manager Pete  Stasiak and the mayor several times in regard with the best way to develop the property, according to city documents.

Dahlgren said the best opportunity for this property is commercial development and re-zoning to C-5 would give the most flexibility, the documents state.

Dahlgren let the Planning Commission know there is not a solid plan or developer at this time and he showed a proposed plan that had been created for these tracts. (This plan can also be viewed at willowcreekdevelopment.com, acording to city documents.) Any future development of this property could provide another point of entry for residents in Kinkead Hills, city documents state.

On another zoning matter, city councilors plan to consider and act upon a change in zoning from R-3, which is a multi-family dwelling district, to C-4, which is a restricted commercial district, and on authorizing the mayor to sign an ordinance designating the change.

The proposed change is for a tract of land in Lots 48, 53 and 54, Townsite Addition No. 4, according to city documents.

• Consider, and act upon, an ordinance amending Ordinance No. 2425, which established the budget for fiscal year 2012-2013; repealing all conflicting ordinances; providing for a severability clause; and declaring an emergency.

This item will ask the council to amend the budget to reflect recent financial activity within the city.

• Consider, and act upon, approval of bid to Bob Hurley Ford for the purchase of one new and unused 2013 Ford Police SUV.

Councilors are to consider whether to approve the low bid of $32,680 to Bob Hurley Ford for the purchase of  a new 2013 Ford Police SUV patrol vehicle. The city received a total of three bids on the vehicle, according to city documents.

Contact James Beaty at jbeaty@mcalesternews.com.

For more on this story, see the print or electronic editions of the McAlester News-Capital. Click here for print edition home delivery or click here to see the Smart Edition for your computer, tablet, e-reader or smartphone.

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