McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

August 15, 2013

Without a bump in the road

City annexation plan for turnpike plaza advances

By James Beaty
Senior Editor

McALESTER — A measure designed to move the city’s plans to annex additional property into the city limits has moved a little farther up the road, without hitting so much as a speed bump.

The measure, on the city council’s consent agenda for its regular Tuesday meeting, called for the city council to consider and act upon authorizing the city attorney to provide notice of the proposed  annexation of “adjacent or contiguous territory” as required by state statues.

It also called for a public hearing on the matter to be set for 6 p.m. on Sept. 10.

City councilors passed the measure without comment as part of their consent agenda Tuesday night. All of the items placed on the consent agenda can pass by a single vote of the city council, unless councilors ask for a particular item to be pulled for discussion.

The annexation measure is part of an effort to annex the Steven W. Taylor Industrial Park into the McAlester city limits, according to City Manager Pete Stasiak.

Although the city owns the property where the industrial park is located, it’s not within the city limits, Stasiak noted.

Annexing the industrial park into the city limits is part of a larger plan to annex the site of  the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority’s new McAlester Service Plaza within the city limits.

OTA plans to start construction on the $9.7 million project on the Indian Nation Turnpike within the coming weeks and expects it to be finished by the fall season of 2014. The site of the planned new service plaza, which will contain a McDonald’s and an EZ Go convenience store with fuel pumps, is adjacent to the industrial park and will be just south of State Highway 31, according to OTA spokesman Jack Damrill.

 The OTA plans to close its current service plazas along the Indian Nation Turnpike near Eufaula and Antlers after the McAlester service plaza is complete, Damrill said. That will make the  McAlester service plaza the only one on the Indian Nation Turnpike between Henryetta and Hugo.

Contact James Beaty at jbeaty@mcalesternews.com.