Oologah finalizing plan to begin construction on grocery store
BY RHETT MORGAN World Staff Writer
Saturday, November 24, 2012
11/24/12 at 5:55 AM
OOLOGAH - The town is close to completing a plan that would allow construction of a grocery store along U.S. 169, officials said.
"We're still full steam ahead," Mayor Jerry Holland said. "I really want it to happen. The way it looks right now, it is."
The Rogers County Industrial Development Authority is heading the project, which would place an 18,000-square-foot grocery store on property owned by Lakeside State Bank at U.S 169 and Oklahoma 88.
In February, Oologah's planning commission found the property's use is consistent with its comprehensive plan, contingent upon a zoning switch from agricultural to commercial.
A tax-increment financing district, also known as a TIF, is planned in conjunction with the store. The TIF was approved in September, said Bill Higgins, town attorney.
"I've said this many times over the last year, 'We're just a few days from wrapping this up,' " said Mickey Thompson, executive director of the Rogers County Industrial Development Authority.
Thompson said the property's buyer and developer have been OK'd, along with the operator of the store. He added that he expects the project will be approved by the end of the year.
"What we have now is some refining of the language," he said. "While I thought that would have been done months ago, it's still not done."
The development authority would obtain the loan and manage the TIF, Thompson said. Sales taxes from the store, a family-owned, Oklahoma chain that he declined to identify, would go toward paying the mortgage, he said.
The authority would guarantee that on an annual basis, the town would receive 103 percent of its sales-tax revenue averaged over the previous three years, he said. Once the debt was paid, sales taxes from the store would revert to the town.
Also, Holland said work is continuing on Oologah's conversion of a church sanctuary into a media center/library complex.
Integral to the project is the municipality's acquiring of a property in foreclosure behind the nearby town hall, the mayor said. The town wants to put a maintenance building there to store valuable items salvaged from the church's demolition, he said.
Original Print Headline: Oologah finalizing plan to begin work on store
Rhett Morgan 918-581-8395