Members of the Grove City Council moved forward with the agreement with Concept Development for the potential sale of the Grove Civic Center.

The decision, which took place during the Tuesday, March 7, council meeting, means the city will move forward with a $2 million sale agreement for the civic center and surrounding property with the Florida-based investment group. 

The agreement includes a $10,000 deposit in an escrow account and an additional $90,000 in an escrow account upon the approval of a ballot question to fund a new civic center. The escrow funding would eventually be applied toward the purchase of the civic center.

The Grove Civic Center, located at 1702 South Main, was once a Wal-Mart building.

When the Arkansas based corporation sold the facility to the city in 1994, the sale included a 50-year stipulation, stating the building could not be used as a wholesale club or a department store, according to city documents released at a previous city council meeting. 

Concept Development has a commitment from an undisclosed retailer tenant that would not violate the previous sale agreement, city documents show. 

Additionally, the council voted to move forward with an agreement with Sparks and Reed Architects to develop a feasibility study for the construction of a new civic center.

The costs are $3,000 for phase one, which includes the preliminary site, floor and cost estimate plans, and $5,500 for phase two, which includes renderings, videos and still photography depicting the proposed center. 

The funding for this project will come from moving $5,000 from the 2016-17 Capital Fund Budget that was previously earmarked to cover a project at Wolf Creek Park and a Grow With Grove Visioning Project grant.

Airplane Display 

In other business, the council heard from Pete Norwood with an update regarding bringing the an F-4 Phantom II Jet to Grove from the National Museum of the United States Air Force.

Norwood said the original plane organizers hoped to bring to Grove is no longer available. He asked the council to allow city staff to write a letter to a different branch of the U.S. Air Force, requesting a different plane.

Norwood said $400 has been pledged for the procurement of the plane. He said others have come forward, and he anticipates the $75,000 other funds needed - should a plane become available - will be secured.

"This is literally a turnkey," Norwood said. "That's what is so great about it. It's a doable deal."

Norwood said people within the political and financial arenas of northeast Oklahoma have offered to help with the plane - which will be placed on exhibit at the Grove Regional Airport.

Har-Ber Village Day 

Council members also approved a resolution naming Saturday, March 25, as Har-Ber Village Day.

The move, explained Grove Mayor Marty Follis, is designed to recognize the impact the tourist attraction plays within the Grand Lake Region.

On March 25, the Smithsonian Museum traveling exhibit, "The Way We Worked" will open. Har-Ber Village is one of five sites within Oklahoma to take part in the traveling exhibit in 2017.

"It amazes me that the Smithsonian is coming to Grove Oklahoma," Follis said, as he read from the proclamation.

Follis said he hopes area residents will take advantage of the exhibit to tour Har-Ber Village.

The council also:

• approved a request by the Grove Sun to waive permit requirements for the City-Wide Garage Sale set for May 5 to 7.

• approved an agreement with Bass LLC for Bassmasters Open Series Tournament set for Oct. 5 to 7. The city will provide a $12,000 host fee.

• approved a budget amendment resolution for $6,250 that covers revenues received from an insurance company and expenses for fixing a wrecked vehicle.

• denied a claim by Kaitlynn Smith for a traffic sign claim. 

• approved two change orders for Phase II of the Downtown Streetscape Project. The change orders were for $8,599.89 and $9,572.40 for drainage issues and repairs to a drain which arose during construction work.

• approved scheduling a public hearing for 6 p.m., on Tuesday, April 18, concerning 12 structures that are in disrepair or in a depilated condition. The properties are:

116 S. Main Street

17 W. O’Daniel Street 

South Broadway, Lot 3, Block 6

125 S. Cherokee Street

131 S. Cherokee Street

10720 U.S. Highway 59 N

200 E. 4th Street

115 E. 6th Street

1656 113th Street NW

904 W. 7th Street

Lots 2 and 3, 26-25N-23E, Grove X-Land

115 Bee Hive Drive