MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

January 29, 2013

Drivers’ fines to rise in FG

Base penalty will be $210

By Wendy Burton
Phoenix Staff Writer

— FORT GIBSON — Town trustees agreed to raise municipal fines for reckless driving and other traffic offenses during their Monday meeting.

The new rates won’t be effective until the town’s attorney writes an ordinance to that effect and the board votes at its next regular meeting Feb. 11.

Police Chief Clint Vernon presented the board with a plan to “raise fine minimums up to an average of surrounding areas.”

Those increases include raising the town’s base fine from $70 to $210, Vernon said. Muskogee, Haskell, Wagoner and other cities have a base of about $249, he said.

“We also need to add a $33 per day incarceration fee because we have to budget for that,” he said.

Vernon also said Muskogee’s municipal fine for driving under the influence is considerably higher than Fort Gibson’s. The new fine for a DUI in Fort Gibson will be closer, but less than Muskogee’s, he said.

The Board of Trustees also awarded a construction contract to a Tahlequah contractor to begin work on Fort Gibson’s sports complex.

 Zenith Construction was awarded the contract in the amount of $543,860.30.

The town hopes to have concession stands and soccer fields ready for the fall soccer season, Mayor Steven Hill said.

The board also discussed an ongoing water project. The town had already decided to extend city water to Georgetown Road south of U.S. 62, but didn’t extend water to River Road residents.

Property owners from River Road asked the board to include them in the water project, saying they expected to get city water within 10 years of their annexation about 14 years ago.

The board did not vote to extend city water to their road, but did vote to include the road in the engineering for the Georgetown Road project in case the decision is made later to do the project.

The town also voted to close a portion of Artillery Avenue where no road actually exists so property owners alongside can fence their properties.

An ordinance to close the section of Artillery Avenue adjacent to Block 31, containing approximately 160 feet, will be voted on at the board’s Feb. 11 meeting.

Reach Wendy Burton at (918) 684-2926 or wburton@muskogeephoenix.com.