CALERA – More than 20 local business owners and representatives met on Monday evening at the Best Express Inn to discuss the upcoming road construction that will change the Calera landscape.
The concerns involved were about the Oklahoma Department of Transportation proposal that was outlined in a meeting with the community on June 15.
Among the topics discussed about the current scenario were the thoughts there are not enough exits through the town itself and that the new flyover on Ninth Avenue was not a good idea.
The meeting was led by Billy Sprouse, who owns Casteels Tires in Calera and Durant, who spoke to many concerns and collected ideas from the group.
“This meeting is to discuss some of the changes (to the proposal) and things we would like to see happen,” Sprouse said.
From the ideas gathered, Sprouse said they would put together a presentation to bring back to ODOT.
“(It is) to show them what we would like to see and some things that we think can be done to help to keep the town alive, versus making it stagnant and making it decline due to access.”
It was discussed that many people from the Calera area have already been sending thoughts and ideas back to ODOT following the June 15 meeting, and more input is necessary.
Many ideas were voiced during the meeting, but certain key points were narrowed down that the group decided to pursue, including a focus on change to the Ninth Avenue flyover and additional interchanges in the north and south parts of town.
Also talked about during the meeting was the idea that no matter what final decisions made with the new road will be, the marketing of the Calera itself could be a big factor in helping the town to make the most of it. Calera has seen much growth recently and it needs to stay that way.
The group is looking for more people to get on board and will be looking for more support through a couple of avenues during this week.
First, they will be gathering signatures to take to their representatives in the Oklahoma legislature. Second, there will be a follow-up meeting, scheduled for Thursday evening (June 29).