Claremore Daily Progress

February 21, 2013

Claremore 2020 to address critical issues

Salesha Wilken
Staff Reporter

CLAREMORE — City Manager Jim Thomas presented his Claremore 2020 plan to the city council Monday evening featuring four distinct goals.

The first goal is to hire a city planner. The job is to be posted March 5th and candidate selection should be complete by May 1.
Secondly, Thomas and his staff will be developing and executing a water plan.
Starting the end of March, several work sessions will begin in an effort to complete a plan by the end of June.
“Water is a valid concern of both the citizens and the city administration,” Thomas said. “This community needs sustainable access to quality, safe drinking water from a reliable source.”
The third item in the plan is to deal with the issue of traffic and trains in Claremore.
Thomas, Mayor Mickey Perry and Director of Infrastructure Daryl Golbek will be meeting with Oklahoma Department of Transportation Secretary Gary Ridley the first of March to follow up on the environmental impact study concerning the route of Highway 20.
Another element of the plan will include discussion with both ODOT and the Rogers County Commissioners about the east/west bypass of Highway 20.
“We believe that taking the bypass down Flint/King road is no longer in the best interest of Claremore,” Thomas said. “We recognize traffic is in a gridlock and for economic vitality we need to develop a solution that both allows residents to travel from one side of town to the other without congestion and also supports the business community.”
Finally the Claremore 2020 plan places special focus on retail development in Claremore.
The new city planner will be heading efforts to develop and maintain commercial property master lists and market properties.
The planner will also be involved in hiring an economic developer for the city of Claremore by the end of June 2015.
Thomas recognized many partners and their role in the plan including the Claremore Chamber of Commerce, Cherokee Nation, Convention and Visitors Bureau and several area businesses.
Just one more piece of the economic pie for the city will be tourism. 
“The council and staff would like to see Claremore become a tourist destination by aggressively recruiting attractions such as a water park, amusement park, hotel with a conference center, etc,” Thomas said.