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$78.6M: Muskogee asks voters to decide on first bond in 50 years

Posted at 3:45 PM, May 23, 2024

MUSKOGEE, Okla. — For the first time in 50 years, the city of Muskogee is asking voters for $78.6 million to improve several areas around town.

City leaders said the projects focus on public safety, streets and bridges, and community facilities.

“There are so many things we need to do and can’t do,” said Deputy Mayor Derrick Reed. “There are a whole lot of needs on that list.”

Every day after school, dozens of Muskogee students spend their time in the Martin Luther King Center.

“It’s the heart of the city of Muskogee,” said Reed.

Along with his duties as Deputy Mayor, Derrick Reed is the program director for the Martin Luther King Center.

MLK Center rendering.png

He said that in the eight years since the building opened, they’ve already outgrown it. They’ve had to put about 170 kids on the waitlist for their summer programs.

“That’s our need and our cry,” said Reed. “It’s time to expand. We don’t want that amount of kids with nothing to do in the summertime.”

MLK Center rendering 1.png

It’s the reason an expansion of the building is on the list of projects for the bond vote in August. $7.8 million would provide new classrooms, restrooms, and a new gym.

“My children grew up here,” said Brittany Beasley. “I just have a lot of memories here, and I love to see people come in and out and make memories with their families. It creates legacy.”

Brittany Beasley lives in Muskogee and followed the bond discussion closely. She’s said she's excited about some of the options that could be coming to town.

“It’s very important to me,” said Beasley.

Another community project is getting a new HVAC system for the Muskogee Civic Center. Parts fit are original to the building, built in the 1960’s.

Just around the corner from the Civic Center is Broadway Street, the busiest downtown road. $3.9 million is slated for upgrades to that area.

“Sidewalk improvements, beautification, and just general streetscaping to make our downtown a more welcoming environment,” said Assistant Public Works Director Avery Rigney.

Rigney said there are about $14 million worth of projects focused on area road and bridge work.

“The bond money would be a great step in the right direction for funding these projects,” said Rigney.

2 News spoke with Muskogee residents in April as the city discussed the bond:

City of Muskogee gets resident input on potential bond

He said smoothing out streets in the Muskogee Medical District near Smith Ferry Road could attract more businesses to the town.

“There’s been a shift to the importance of infrastructure, and we want to be on board with that and prioritize these projects to provide good driving surfaces and good sidewalks for our residents,” said Rigney.

The biggest proposition, more than $47 million, focuses on public safety. A new police headquarters, a new fire station, and new vehicles for first responders.

“We know that our city workers who give so much of their lives and their time to the community and have to go to deplorable buildings as far as their workspace,” said Reed.

If all of the bond propositions pass, property taxes will increase by about $12.50 a month or $150 a year for a $100,000 home.

Voters will decide on the bond on August 27.

For a closer look at the projects, click here.

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