City Council Hears From Local Business Owner

The City Council met recently to discuss the closing of a section of Fifth Street between Perkins Road and Dryden Street. Local business owner Greg Hughes is not happy about the street closing, claiming it would negatively affect his businesses

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Stillwater City Council Meeting

Kinnunen Sales and Rentals and Kinnunen Service Center, located across from each other on East Sixth Avenue, will suffer greatly if the street closes according to Hughes. He said that parking would be depleted, which would cause his customers to lose interest in doing business with him. If the only entrance to his businesses was through Sixth Street, trucks and trailers would run into difficulty trying to turn across four lanes of traffic and a turn lane. He fears that these disruptions would kill his businesses, which he thinks the government should help him avoid.

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Hughes Speaks to the Council

The council members decided to continue the item until the next meeting, which is to be held on Oct. 20. By continuing the issue, the council hopes that this will give time for the property owners on either side of Dryden Street to come to an agreement on constructing a commercial driveway between their properties.
“We have private access easements filed all over Stillwater, where owners have gotten together for each other’s benefits to allow access to their adjacent properties,” said Paula Dennison of development and services.
Hughes said he has tried to talk to the other property owner in the past and they could not come to an agreement. The two discussed a resolution in which Hughes would pay the other property owner’s property tax but Hughes did not agree. Since then the two could not come to an agreement, Hughes has not tried to contact him. The other property owner did not attend the city council meeting.
“I don’t know which type of action would put one of the parties in a better, appreciatively stronger position over the other,” Mayor John Bartley said.
The council was unsure whether voting on the issue was a good move, so they decided to continue it until the next meeting in hopes that a resolution would come about.

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Kinnunen Service Center on East Sixth Street.

“It’s better for individuals to settle it that government to settle it for you,” Councilor Gina Noble said.
Hughes proposed to pay for the pavement of Fifth Street using the money he was compensated by the Oklahoma Department of Transportation. Hughes took the $280,000 compensation because the city has control over the road, so his choice was to take the money and profit from the road close or get no compensation. The city would still have control over the road either way. Hughes said that he took the money and would like to pave and maintain Fifth Street so that his customers could still have access to his businesses.
Mayor Bartley also declared the week of Oct. 5 -11, 2014 Fire Prevention Week in the City of Stillwater. Joined by the Stillwater Fire Department and Sparky, the fire department’s mascot, Mayor Bartley explained the importance of working smoke alarms in the home. According to the National Fire Protection Association, three out of five home fire deaths result from properties without working smoke alarms. Bartley also encourages residents to practice fire prevention by creating a safe fire escape plan for their homes. The Stillwater Fire Prevention Week’s message is “Working smoke alarms save lives, test your every month.”

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