, Muskogee, OK

April 30, 2014

County wants your opinion

— Muskogee County commissioners are doing the right thing by seeking residents’ input on the decision to move the regional juvenile detention facility.

Commissioners are hoping to give you the opportunity to tell them where you would like to see the facility.

The facility needs a new site.

It sits on a prime retail development site on Shawnee Bypass across from Walmart.

It does not take much to envision a retail store or stores at that area.

Commissioners are looking at three potential new sites:

• The southwest corner of Davis Field Airport.

• Near the Muskogee County Council of Youth Services, which is located at the intersection of Eufaula Avenue and North 41st Street East.

• The present site of Muskogee Little Theatre, 325 E. Cincinnati Ave. A new MLT facility is expected to be built in a downtown arts and cultural district.

Let’s be honest — no one wants a juvenile detention facility to move in next door.

But the facility needs to be moved to help Muskogee gain more retail opportunities and increase revenue from sales taxes.

You should be encouraged that commissioners want your input.

It will be nearly impossible to create an overwhelming consensus on the next site.

It is far easier to reluctantly accept where the facility winds up if you had a chance for your voice to be heard.

We encourage you to have your say.

Others will voice their opinions.

If yours is the voice not heard, don’t be surprised if the facility winds up near you.