MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

September 9, 2013

State should help develop Shawnee-U.S. 69


— State officials should work with Muskogee to make plots of land at the corner of Shawnee Bypass and U.S. 69 available for development.

The Oklahoma Department of Transportation and Muskogee County own parcels of land at that intersection.

That is one reason why development has been so slow to come to that intersection.

The city of Muskogee is expected to complete the purchase of the county’s interest in the southwest corner of Shawnee and 69 next week.

QuikTrip is the potential buyer for that corner.

QuikTrip should be the first domino to fall. Other businesses should see the value in that area if QuikTrip, a popular convenience store, leads the way.

City officials must consolidate all properties owned by other interests in the three remaining corners to further their interest in development.

That includes the state and the county.

ODOT could convey its interest to the city at less than market value.

It would be in the state’s best interest to do that.

The corner is barren of sales tax-producing businesses. It has been that way for decades.

The state would reap benefits from sales taxes if they work with Muskogee officials to get development humming.