Stillwater Citizen Alert (ltr. to the Ed.

I want to thank the many Stillwater residents that have expressed their support and concern to the property owners in the OSU Expansion area. It is truly appreciated by all of us! I know you are empathetic and probably glad you don’t live in the area, and thankful that it doesn’t directly effect you.

However, it DOES directly affect you. Stillwater residents voted a bond issue several years ago, to improve McGeorge Street (now Hall of Fame). OSU will close it to you now. Improvements made to McElroy: OSU has “implied” this street will also be closed to the public. North Washington will be closed to the south beginning at the Athletic Village.

Citizens voted a bond issue to repair sewer lines. Much of this repair was done in the proposed expansion area. There will be no reimbursement of monies paid to the City of Stillwater by OSU to recover ANY of these costs. YOU, the taxpayer paid for all of the above. OSU “acquires” it.

With closings of the main E/W arteries in our city, ANOTHER bond issue must be passed to make Lakeview the main E/W access and Country Club Road the main N/S access. YOU, the taxpayer will pay for those street improvements.

Stillwater residents will have to make up for loss of revenue to the City and schools, due to OSU’s acquisition of the 410+ properties in the area that will no longer be paying property taxes. OSU pays NO taxes. Total tax loss annually: $291,092.00. This includes loss of revenue to the schools: $181,997.00 annually. To Vo-Tech: annually, $42,849.

Loss of students attending Will Rogers School may result in closing the school, putting added pressure on other schools. The superintendent of Stillwater schools said the schools were offered a lump sum (not annually) of $554,000.00. He said this offer has not been accepted, to date. I don’t doubt that there are several other ways in which this plan will have an effect on the Citizens of Stillwater.

The City of Stillwater also PAYS OSU $400,000.00, annually, from our “use tax” each year.

OSU already owns a tremendous amount of property on which the Athletic Village could be built, property that would not require acquisition or put an unnecessary hardship on the citizens of Stillwater:

1. The area West of the Stadium (all the way to Blackwell Lake that could be utilized and still be contiguous with the Athletic hub. 2.The old golf course, North to Lakeview. 3. Properties at Western and Sixth.

The cost of acquisition of property, as compared to the completion of the Athletic Village, is a “drop in the bucket”. Donors and students will bear the cost of its completion. “Our main donor” could choose to pull out anytime. He doesn’t live in the City or Stillwater. YOU do. Detrimental changes to the City of Stillwater mean nothing to “our donor”.

I urge you to let your concerns be known through editorials, and emails to the Board of Regents, OSU Foundation, and the City of Stillwater’s governing powers. You can find links and contact information to all of the above on the website:

Ann Williams

847 W. Eskridge, Stillwater, Ok. 74075, (405) 780-7460

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