MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Opinion

February 19, 2014

Demolition plan solid

With help from the City of Muskogee Foundation — and voters — Muskogee could eliminate a problem that will continue to grow.

City planners recently outlined a plan to demolish up to 500 dilapidated structures located throughout the city. The plan would wipe out a backlog that grows larger each year and eliminate blight.

If not addressed, the backlog will continue to grow.

Planning Director Gary Garvin said there are more than 400 structures within Muskogee that have been — or are in the process of being — condemned. Fifty more are added to that list each year.

The proposal outlines plans to apply for a $1 million grant from the City of Muskogee Foundation for demolition work and $300,000 to fund incentives to spur residential infill development.

In order to eliminate the backlog and stay current in the future, the city would have to match the foundation grant dollar for dollar. Municipal funding would be contingent upon voters’ approving a $1 million outlay from the city’s capital improvements program, which would require the extension of a temporary sales tax.

The plan is solid. We know Muskogee desperately needs to be cleaned up, and demolishing these structures will improve the image tremendously.

We also understand why there is a backlog. With the city budget in a years-long slump, it makes sense for the demolition budget to be cut. After all, a sound and solid infrastructure is more essential — and needed — than making the city look better.

That’s why we applaud city officials for thinking outside the box and attempting to address the situation without straining the budget.

This is a creative and hopefully fruitful way to clear the backlog and take care of a problem that if left unchecked will continue to tarnish Muskogee’s image.

1
Text Only
Opinion
AP Video
Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage
Poll

Should a federal judge have the power to strike down Oklahoma's ban on gay marriage?

Yes
No
     View Results
Featured Ads
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Stocks