February 5, 2014

City acquires roads, houses in meeting

James Bright, Managing Editor,
The Express-Star


The city of Chickasha acquired two new properties and took control of two roads from the Oklahoma Department of Transportation during their weekly council meeting. 

Council Member Howard Carpenter said he did not understand why ODOT acquired the roads, which include Grand Avenue between 4th Street and S. 29th Street, and quickly wanted them removed.

 City Manager Stewart Fairbun said ODOT has a list of 400 locations in Oklahoma, including Chickasha that have roads which would require more upkeep than ODOT can afford. 

"Highway 62 will remain with ODOT, but we will be responsible for Grand (Ave.) and old Highway 92," said Fairburn. 

Fairburn said he was comfortable with this decision, and was pleased the city will not be stuck with Highway 62. 

The motion passed 8-1 with Carpenter dissenting.

History was also discussed during the meeting. 

Following a proclamation were Mayor Hank Ross declared February as Black History Month in Chickasha, local NAACP President Dr. Ashanti Alexander spoke to the council on the historical significance of Lincoln Elementary School. 

Alexander said the school should be designated as a historic site due to it being a historic African American school, large portions of the campus being built during The Great Depression and civil rights activist Ada Sipuel Fisher's attendance at the school. 

"Lincoln School (now elementary) should be a historic and architectural jewel in this city," said Alexander. 

A plan to declare the school as a historical landmark is being formulated, according to Alexander. 

The city also acquired two residential properties for a total cost of $4,380.50. Council Member Mike Sutterfield voted against the acquisition, stating given the condition of the structures on the lots, the cost was too high.