CLEET receives 21 bids for new $23 million OKC training facility

Thursday, September 28th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- The Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training received more than 20 proposals from across the state for the location of its new $23 million training facility.

The state agency, known as CLEET, is looking for a 320-acre site on which to build the training complex. CLEET is responsible for training Oklahoma's 9,000 law enforcement officers.

To finance the complex, the Legislature approved a $3 surcharge that will be added to court costs for traffic and criminal cases statewide. The fee, which takes effect Nov. 1, will generate an estimated $1.9 million a year.

CLEET director Jeanie Nelson said some bids offered free land.

"I think it's marvelous," Nelson said. "From what I hear, I think each quadrant of the state has something to offer us. It's going to be a really tough decision."

McAlester proposed a 386-acre site that would be sold for $1 and Wewoka said it could provide 361 acres for $1. Pauls Valley suggested a 366-acre site that the state owns, while Davis offered a free, 320-acre site.

The Ardmore Development Authority said CLEET could save not only by accepting free land -- but by using four closed runways at the Ardmore Industrial Airpark as vehicle training tracks.

Pawhuska attorney Rene Henry Jr. said a 565-acre tract in Rogers County is ideal for the training facility because it is close to Tulsa and has access to major highways, yet is isolated. The owners want $5 million for the property.

The Southwest Oklahoma Multi-County Coalition, made up of Jackson, Greer and Kiowa counties, offered four possible sites.

Also cooperating in hopes of luring the agency are the Ada Jobs Foundation and East Central University.

The Norman Economic Development Coalition offered up two possible locations near Lake Thunderbird. The Stroud Industrial Authority said its central location -- halfway between Oklahoma City and Tulsa -- provides access to 2.5 million Oklahomans.

Nelson said the council hasn't set a timetable for choosing a site.