“It’s a new day in Claremore,” was the theme of the last week’s State of the City Address hosted by the Claremore Chamber of Commerce.
City Manager Jim Thomas and Mayor Bill Flanagan spoke at a luncheon to give attendees an overview of the past year, as well as highlight where the city is going.
“It was about focusing on us getting back to where we want to be as a city,” Flanagan said.
Thomas talked about “Claremore 2020 ,” noting several goals the city has set including: hiring a city planner, an increased focus on economic development and tourism, addressing transportation, developing and executing a water configuration and treatment plan and developing partnerships with stakeholders within the community.
One of the city’s primary initiatives is encouraging locals to “Shop Claremore First.”
“This refocuses the realization that cities in Oklahoma rely on sales tax,” Flanagan said. “Our citizens can shop anywhere they want to, but it is through those tax dollars within our city limits that we pay for the services that we render.”
The city also announced three hotels on tap for 2014, Hampton Inn, Holiday Inn and La Quinta Inn and Suites.
“With the university and expo center, we have a lot of events and a lot of people who come to the area. Many times, we have to put people up in hotels in Owasso and Catoosa and Tulsa, because our hotels currently cannot accommodate that number of guests.
“With these new hotels, we can service those people within the city limits, and they can stay closer to the event that is taking place.”
Flanagan says the land has been acquired on all three facilities and construction is expected to begin soon.
Also among new developments for Claremore in 2014 is a new St. John’s Urgent Care clinic.
Industrial development was another key area city officials stressed last Thursday.
Last year, the city acquired the 100,000 square foot Burgess Norton plant, which has recently been leased out.
Flannagan said the company should bring at least 50 jobs to Claremore immediately. He expects the city make an official announcement within the next month or two.
In 2013, Claremore also obtained its first customer for the Industrial Park’s trans-modal rail spur .
Additional community enhancements include an updated marquee, improvements to King Road, a realignment at SH-20 and Country Club Road, a Smart Grid program for electric and water and upgrades to water treatment plant.
“We’re coming off, financially, a fairly good year, and we made some tough decisions, but we implemented them and are moving on,” Flanagan said. “We have the opportunity to grow and we are looking to grow as we go forward.”