MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Fort Gibson

January 13, 2014

Long-term goals

Mayor eyes plans for water plant, tourism

Mayor Brad Clinkenbeard said his first nine months in office have been an “enjoyable experience” for him.

“The town is doing pretty well,” Clinkenbeard said. “Our sales tax revenue is down a little bit monthly, but we’re up annually so far. We’ve also done a few infrastructure projects here lately which are bringing us up to speed.”

Clinkenbeard said he has long-term goals that he could “hang his hat” on as signature projects of his tenure, including tourism ideas and upgrading the water plant.

“We’re hiring a new water plant supervisor,” he said. “We want him to get here and give us an evaluation of what we have and what we can improve on. Right now we have some talks in progress about a 40-year long-term plan for the water plant to help make some improvements.”

In addition to the water plant, Clinkenbeard said he would like to sit down with the Fort Gibson Historical Society and the Cherokee Nation for discussions on how to help Fort Gibson become more of a tourist attraction.

“They are making improvements to the fort right now,” he said. “They’ve got new logs coming in, and that project will take about a year. I’d like to sit down with both the Nation and the Historical Society and see if we can kick something up.”

When it comes to city progress, Clinkenbeard said there’s always something going on in Fort Gibson.

“It’s hard to put my finger on what I’m most proud of so far,” he said. “I still think right now it’s probably the sports complex.”

Clinkenbeard said the Whitlock Sports Complex will be “ready for fall soccer, whatever it takes.”

“That really isn’t my project, the last mayor and last board handled all of it very well,” he said. “The contractor has about two to three weeks of work to do when the weather gets right, and I’m estimating it’ll be done by around the first of April.”

The sports complex will be a big upgrade for the soccer teams here in town, Clinkenbeard said.

“It’ll be a nice venue to showcase our great soccer programs in town,” he said. “I also think that’s going to help increase traffic to the downtown area. In between games, there’ll be time when people are looking for things to do, and I think we have a very historic town here that they can bring their kids to and let them learn a little bit.”

Clinkenbeard also said he wants to remind the people of Fort Gibson that they are team players, and that it is difficult for any one person to make a change.

“I want to thank the people in town for their patience on some of our projects,“ Clinkenbeard said. “We’re working to better the community, and the end result will definitely be beneficial to the town.”

Reach Travis Sloat at  (918) 684-2908 or tsloat@muskogeephoenix.com.

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