City to move ahead on infrastructure projects

City councilors plan to spend some of the federal funds authorized by the American Rescue Plan Act to build out the infrastructure at John T. Griffin Industrial Park. 

Mayor Marlon Coleman said the $651,800 expenditure would make Muskogee more attractive to companies that have expressed an interest in industrial tracts south of the city. Final approval is expected to be granted during the next Muskogee City Council meeting. 

"For decades this land has been available but has not been shovel-ready," Coleman said. "We ... have huge tracts of land that are developable but cannot be used because we do not have water and sewer tying in to those lands."

Coleman said Muskogee County commissioners have pledged to match the city's investment in order to bring water and sewer service to an area east of South 24th Street and along Smith Ferry Road. Water and sewer infrastructure improvements are expected to cost about $1.5 million, and improvements to Smith Ferry Road would add another $1.2 million to the overall cost of the project. 

Port of Muskogee Director Kimbra Scott said these infrastructure improvements are "critical" to the development of John T. Griffin Industrial Park. The Muskogee City-County Port Authority recently approved the sale of real estate at the industrial park to "a potential investor" who has yet to be named. 

"These infrastructure projects are extremely important to the more the $1.2 billion investment that will be taking place at John T. Griffin," Scott said. 

Coleman said while the industrial tracts lie outside Muskogee's municipal boundaries, he said residents here will benefit from the investment. 

"Imagine a Muskogee that has an opportunity for private investment to exceed $1.2 billion," Coleman said. "That has not happened in any of our lifetimes, and we now have the opportunity to make that happen."

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