Efforts to settle with two landowners on the way south to the city’s future waste water treatment plant site were temporarily put on hold due to tall grass.

City Attorney Randall Elliott told Council members Monday night, the Froman and Majestic Marble properties will have to be mowed before court-appointed commissioners will be able to assess the merits of a city condemnation petition and the property owners protests.

Elliott said commissioners have asked “them to cut the hay to get a better look at the location.”

The two properties in question are in the path of the city’s new Dog Creek outfall line which will eventually connect the existing city sewage treatment plant to the future waste water treatment plant located south of Verdigris.

The easements on Curt Haddock’s property (owned by Majestic Marble, a corporation) is one mile long from Flint Road to the Alton Road. The city is asking for a permanent easement of 20 feet in width (2.5 acres) and a temporary construction easement of 100 feet (10.3 acres).

Haddock said surveyors told him there would be some “20 some odd manholes” on his property with seven elevated concrete manholes due to the floodplain.

The easements across the Robert F. and Donna Sue Froman’s property would impact a 1,600-foot long strip from northwest to the southeast. The 20-foot wide permanent easement would impact 0.71 acres of land and the 100-foot wide temporary construction easement would impact 3.62 acres.

Haddock told the Progress in a March phone conversation that he “disagree[s] with the plan” or alignment of the outfall line. He questioned why the easement had to go through the middle of his property and not to the side of the creek.

Haddock said the easements being demanded by the city will unnecessarily impact productive soybean fields and pecan orchards.

“The city already has easements. You don’t have to take my property away from me or destroy my fields,” Haddock said.

The City of Claremore did have prior easements for an outfall line acquired as long ago as 1927.

City Engineer Sam Balsiger said when planning and engineering studies began for the current project, plans had to vary off that alignment because the creek has changed over the years.

Until the commissioners render their findings in a report, and the ensuing 30-day waiting period for filing objections is completed, the City can not move forward with the bidding process for the project.

The entire Dog Creek outfall line is approximately 3.5 miles long. Permanent easements across 12 parcels of land are required. To date 10 have been settled.

In related action Monday night, the Council approved a cost-saving move assuming responsibility for the building permit process for the new plant.

City Building Inspector Dennis Dwyer said because the plant is being constructed outside the city limits, it falls under the jurisdiction of the County Planning Office.

County Commission members agreed to allow the City to perform all protective inspections at they May 15 meeting. This could be as much as a $15,000 savings to the city in building permits alone. The County had already agreed to reduce the building permit charges from $40,000 to $15,000.

Commissioner Randy Baldridge, in whose county District 3 the plant will be located, spoke out in support of the transfer.

The City has already purchased the 70-acre site for the new waste water treatment plant, about one and a half miles from the Verdigris River. The plant will cover 40 of those 70 acres. The site sets about three quarters of a mile south of the intersection of Muskogee Avenue and Gordon Road in rural Rogers County.

During Monday’s meeting Councilor Tony Mullenger raised the question of annexation of the property. It was only discussion relating to the building and permitting process.

City Attorney Elliott said he did not see any advantages to annexing the property since it is already owned by the city.

Contact Clarice Doyle,

e-mail cdoyle@cnhi.com