Hard Work Paying Off For Muskogee Growth, Development
MUSKOGEE, Oklahoma - The Muskogee mayor addressed the state of the city Thursday afternoon in a meeting with local businesses and city leaders.
The message was all about growth and the city's struggle to get there.
There’s a lot of work going on near the Shawnee Bypass in Muskogee. It’s just one of the development projects happening, and Mayor Bob Coburn said it’s taking a lot to get to this point.
After ten years away from her hometown, Renee Fredrick moved back to Muskogee in 1995.
“We're just, we're finally going somewhere," she said. "I told my husband the only way I would come back to Muskogee is if we could kind of get involved in the community,"
And she did - joining the Chamber of Commerce and the Rotary Club, and the boom Fredrick wanted to see, if finally on its way.
Thursday afternoon, Coburn took to the podium to talk about growth and the struggle to get where they are now.
"I would say, to some degree, we lost our enthusiasm for a period of time. And the economy added some difficulty to that as well. And we just didn't become proactive," he said.
But, in the last several years, the city has become proactive - forming Action in Muskogee, or AIM, focusing on three major questions.
“Where are we now? Where do we want to go? How are we going to get there? And we began to flesh that out in terms of saying, here's what the citizens want to see happen," Coburn said.
And the city is seeing it, with a Dicks Sporting Goods opening within the month and two other popular stores being built right next door.
That's in addition to the recent QuikTrip and Chick-fil-A.
Those are just a handful of the latest projects going on in the city.
The mayor said, as of last year, $225 million in development was invested into the community, and it paid off - last year was the biggest sale tax revenue year Muskogee has ever seen.
Coburn said, "The sales number of $606 million spent in our community, that's game changing."
Fredrick said putting the city back on track is a team effort.
"It's everybody. It takes everybody. You know, it takes a village to raise a child, we need to be a village," she said.
Her hope is that the community and city leaders keep up the momentum and treat the latest boom in business as the next step to a better Muskogee.