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Study step on way to land plan

Muskogee Phoenix
muskogeephoenix.com
April 1, 2015
D.E. Smoot | Phoenix Staff Writer

Steps are being taken to make land acquired in 2008 more marketable for future industrial development.

Muskogee City-County Port Authority directors approved a contract with Eagle Environmental Consulting Inc. The company was hired to evaluate and delineate a wetlands area on a 126.5-acre tract south of town commonly referred to as Griffin Lot 6.

A small creek that crosses the property and some small ponds bisect the tract into 40- and 57-acre tracts of developable land. Port officials say the wetlands delineation project will help determine how those tracts can be developed.

“We are trying to figure out a plan for the future,” Port Director Scott Robinson said. “We don’t have an immediate need to do this ..., (but) this is a long drawn-out process, so we just want to get started with the survey.”

Robinson, during a port authority meeting this week, said that once the wetland delineation is completed, the report can be presented to an engineer who will determine the best way to proceed. Once that process is completed, then a Clean Water Act permit must be secured from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

“You could fill it in and use all of this property or you could bridge over it — it depends on the prospect and what they plan to do,” Robinson said. “What we need is to be able to tell the story of what we can do and what we can’t do.”

Robinson said while the port authority’s industrial development team regularly fields calls about the land, “there is no imminent need to get a permit here.” But the $4,500 delineation project is a necessary first step to clear the way for any future development.

The 126.5-acre tract was acquired in 2008 with funding from the first grant awarded by the City of Muskogee Foundation. The port authority owns 112 acres at the Port of Muskogee and 390 acres at other locations. It manages another 242 acres for the Muskogee Municipal Authority.

Reach D.E. Smoot at (918) 684-2901 or dsmoot@muskogeephoenix.com.

Source: http://www.muskogeephoenix.com/news/study-step-on-way-to-land-plan/article_d526c9d2-d83f-11e4-a232-ff199ccdd09f.html

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