Tahlequah may soon be home to another nationally-known restaurant.

Tahlequah Building Inspector Joe Williford told city councilors Tuesday night that Chili’s is looking for a February groundbreaking. The restaurant will be built on part of the parking lot for the old Food 4 Less building, near the intersection of Muskogee and the Bertha Parker Bypass.

The council approved a site plan and plat during its regular monthly meeting. The plan also includes a Walgreen’s drugstore and a tractor supply business in the old building. The restaurant will be in a new building where the old BancFirst ATM sat for years.

Williford and Planning and Zoning Chairman Charlie Carroll said Walgreen’s and the tractor supply company are not as definite as the Chili’s restaurant, but if they don’t locate on the site, a replat will be done.

Williford said the developer meets the city’s parking requirements for a commercial center. Mayor Ken Purdy said 190 spots are available, and 178 are required by city code.

Ward 2 Councilor Jack Spears said the businesses welcome news, but they will worsen an already bad traffic congestion problem in that area of town.

Purdy said the state has told the city 30,000 vehicles pass through the Muskogee-Bypass intersection daily. He agreed with Spears, and said the city will continue to seek ways to ease the congestion.

“That’s [heavy traffic flow] why they’re coming,” Carroll said of the businesses.

The council approved similar documents for Community Bible Fellowship Church. Williford said it will be constructed near the State Highway 51 Spur and Grand View Road. The developers have agreed to give the city an easement for possible future road widening.

A plat for NorthWoods Addition north of Wheeler Addition was also approved. Kirk Boatright, who said he’s developing the site with his son and daughter, said the addition will eventually have 104 lots and will be isolated from commercial development along State Highway 82, north of Tahlequah.

Councilors approved a $2,400 bid from Eden Excavation to remove the building at 211 Northside Court. Eden did not show proof of worker compensation and liability insurance. The company was recently hired by Bill John Baker to remove the Bingham property on South Cherokee, officials said.

Patton Construction was the low bidder, at $4,360, with the insurance. City Attorney Park Medearis told the council Eden would be an independent contractor, and the city would not be liable for anything that should happen during the property removal.

The council approved the purchase of a computer server for the city’s computing system and a $9,913.72 re-allocation to provide the funds. It also authorized the formation of a Hazard Mitigation Citizens Advisory Committee.

What’s next

The Tahlequah City Council will meet in special session Tuesday, Jan. 17 at 7 p.m. in the council chambers at City Hall.


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