Tahlequah Daily Press

Local News

June 28, 2013

Walking, biking trails part of city’s future

TAHLEQUAH — More than $1 million of the city’s new capital-improvements bond issue is earmarked for greenbelt development, including construction of a walking, jogging and bicycling trail that many Tahlequah residents have been asking for.

The new trail will follow the west bank of Town Branch Creek, starting at Norris Park and continuing to what is currently home of the city’s solid waste transfer station off of Basin Avenue, south of Fourth Street.

Tahlequah Mayor Jason Nichols said the 12-foot-wide, multi-use trail will be made of concrete.

“There is a small section of the trail that already exists – the Tahlequah History Trail, which runs from Northeastern State University’s campus down to the skate park,” said Nichols. “With the capital improvements funding, we’re going to lengthen the trail.”

Nichols said construction of the extended trail is expected to cost around $300,000. Security features and other facility construction along the route account for much of the remaining costs.

“We’re going to put in security cameras and an emergency phone system,” said Nichols.

Money is also set aside for parking lots and trail heads along the path. Nichols said the parking lot locations are “very tentative” at this point, but could be located near Morgan Street property the city recently purchased, on the north end of the trail; on Guinn Avenue, somewhere near the halfway point of the future trail; and on the south end, where the city’s transfer station is currently operating.

Once the city’s new transfer station opens – which is expected to occur in September – the city will begin the process of cleaning up the old site to fit in with the new greenbelt development.

“It’s an expensive undertaking [to clean up the old site] and it will require a lot of regulatory work as well,” said Nichols. “But we’re hoping to have a large portion of this trail project done for use next spring and summer. Part of the reason we’re dragging our feet on this particular project, at this point, is that the south end of the trail is contingent upon one more property acquisition.”

City officials have been acquiring land and rights-of-way along the path in recent years, giving the municipality a continuous stretch of property along the creek.

“I would say this component [of the capital-improvements project] was one of the most popular,” said Nichols.

He believes the extended trail will create a starting point for future trails, which would allow more people to walk, jog or hop on a bicycle to get to their destination.

City residents voted to support a sales tax increase last January to fund the $21 million bond issue. The increase went into effect in April. The city has received its money and is in the process of hiring contractors to begin several of the projects.

Nichols has said most, if not all, of the projects included in the bond issue should be complete within the next two years. The city’s increased sales tax collection is tentatively set to stretch out over a 15-year period, but experts have said the city could possibly pay off the bonds in as little as 10 years.

Contractors will be responsible for a large portion of the new projects, a change from the previous trend of using city employees to do the necessary construction.

Text Only
Local News
  • ths-jazz-2.jpg THS jazz band gets up early to hone performance skills

    It means getting up an hour earlier, and it doesn’t count as a class, but the jazz band at Tahlequah High School enjoys the dedication of a group of enthusiastic students.
    The THS Jazz Band practices every day at 7 a.m., an hour before the start of classes. It numbers 17, and is led by Director Orien Landis.
    “They have to do this before school and they get no class credit, but we have a full band,” Landis said. “They are really excited about this.”

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • Easter-basket-kid.jpg Easter traditions date back centuries

    Some Christians may lament a partial shift of focus, but a Christian holy day - perhaps the most holy of all – is this Sunday, and it will be marked with celebrations all around the world.
    The Christian holiday of Easter celebrates the resurrection of Jesus. For centuries, the observant have fasted, reflected or done penance in the weeks leading to the holiday. But today, many also associate the holiday with the Easter bunny, candy, and kites. In 2013, Americans spent $2.1 billion on Easter candy.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Some oppose minimum wage hike; others decry strong-arming by state

    President Barack Obama and the U.S. Senate recently announced a push to raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 per hour, to $10.10. On the heels of the announcement, an initiative petition was introduced in Oklahoma City to raise the minimum wage to the suggested $10.10. If it gained 80,000 signatures, it would be put to a vote of the people.
    This legislative session, a bill passed prohibiting municipalities from setting a minimum was or vacation and sick-day requirements. Gov. Mary Fallin signed the bill into law earlier this week.

    April 18, 2014

  • Phone scam takes $500 from couple

    Authorities are warning Cherokee County residents to watch for a costly phone scam that recently targeted a local couple and ended in their loss of $500.
    According to sheriff’s deputies, a couple contacted authorities after losing $500 to the scam. The couple received a phone call from a man who identified himself only as “Mr. Green.” He told the couple they had won $1.5 million through Publisher’s Clearing House, but to collect the money, the couple would have to purchase a $500 money card to cover various fees.

    April 18, 2014

  • Missing local teen found dead

    The body of a missing 17-year-old boy was found in southern Cherokee County on Thursday, sheriff’s investigators said.
    Brikk Pritchett was reported missing earlier this month after disappearing on March 30, a day before his 17th birthday.

    April 18, 2014

  • ts honor flight 1.tif Flight of honor

    World War II veteran Charles Harra flew missions for the Army Air Corps, and if you ask him which flight was his most memorable, he’ll say it was his 35th mission.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Man charged after leading authorities on wild chase

    Prosecutors have formally charged a man who allegedly led authorities on a wild high-speed pursuit across Cherokee County in late March.

    April 17, 2014

  • Sex offender bonds out after failing to register

    A Cherokee County man is out on bond after being arrested last week for failing to register as a sex offender.

    April 17, 2014

  • jn radiator shop.jpg ‘Greenbelt’ progressing

    Crews this week began to demolish an abandoned radiator shop at the corner of South Street and Guinn Avenue.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • ts slut walk.tif SlutWalk shines spotlight on crime

    “Two, four, six, eight, stop the violence, stop the rape; slut, slut, ho, ho, yes means yes and no means no!”
    This was the battle cry across the campus of Northeastern State University, as the student branch of the American Association of University Women held its third annual SlutWalk Wednesday.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo


What to you think of a state Legislature proposal to forbid cities from raising the minimum wage? Choose the closest to your opinion.

The federal government should set the minimum wage across the board.
States should be allowed to raise their minimum wages, but not cities.
Both states and cities should be allowed to raise their minimum wages.
Cities should be allowed to raise their mimum wages, but not states.
There should be no minimum wage at all.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Raw: More Than 100,000 Gather for Easter Sunday Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest