, Muskogee, OK

November 12, 2012

City, OHP deal benefits community

— A deal to have the state Department of Public Safety occupy the old Army Reserve Armory on North York Street was the right move by the city of Muskogee, even if the city will not gain much in the way of rent.

The armory will be used as a headquarters for several divisions of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol and the driver compliance division of DPS. Once the headquarters is operational, the city-owned facility will house 33 full-time employees and 62 transitory workers.

In addition to Troop C, which has been located here since 1974, OHP will use the facility as headquarters for its lake patrol, special operations and bomb squad personnel.

OHP also plans to use the former armory as a regional training center.

The armory was last used by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The city took possession of the facility in August.

The city leased the 22,275-square-foot facility, an unattached 3,315-square-foot maintenance shop, and 5.55 acres to OHP for $1 for 25 years.

Obviously, the city did not make the agreement to make money.

Having a major operation of the OHP in our city could bring in residual sales tax revenue from employees.

The last thing this city needs is another abandoned building.