Retail shop coming to Liberty Lake; proposed sales tax would benefit lake

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Improvements are ongoing at Liberty Lake as city officials are hopeful of making the lake a premier place to attend in Central Oklahoma. An approved sales tax in August would continue that momentum.

Two county trustee inmates work on the outside of the lake house as part of the renovation of the home.
Two county trustee inmates work on the outside of the lake house as part of the renovation of the home.

Renovations continue with the lake house that sits on the lake’s property. Officer Anthony Gibbs with the Guthrie Police Department, who also serves as the Lake Patrol Officer, says the project is about 80 percent completed.

The lake house will serve as a retail shop, living quarters and a small lake patrol office. The retail store, that will include sales of drinks, snacks, lake items, permits, etc., is expected to open this August.

Related story: Liberty Lake continues to become local destination

Gibbs finds himself not only overlooking the project and keeping the lake safe, but has been instrumental in picking up supplies and carrying his share of the remodeling work load.

A local group was hoping to help with labor, but are unable to do so at the time. However, thanks to the Logan County Sheriff’s Office, the pace of the job as helped get the project back on par with the help of county trustee inmates.

Liberty Lake
This portion of the lake house will be the retail store. Customers will be able to pull up to drive-thru window in their vehicle.

Gibbs says the trustees have been a great asset over the last two weeks. He says the hand-picked trustees are skilled carpenters and are working hard.

“Chief Deputy Richard Stephens has been incredible to work with and we have been grateful for their help,” Gibbs said.

Along with the in-depth remodeling job, gravel has been laid throughout the park on road ways and a parking lot near the boat ramp. This allows vehicles and trailers to no longer park on dirt. Soon fencing will be installed to help better move traffic inside the lake.

The city’s park and street departments have also paved out future roads inside the park for added camp sites as well as an exit out of the park.

Funding for the project

The lake projects are funded through the hotel/motel tax. The tax numbers have come in above the budgeted expectations and have boosted the projects along quicker.

The hotel and motel tax is split up between the promotion of tourism in the City of Guthrie and maintenance of the city parks. The Chamber and Convention Visitors Bureau (CVB) receives two-thirds of the tax and the other one-third towards the parks.

Paved roads into and inside Liberty Lake?

If the city’s proposed sales tax increase is passed, the lake could see the biggest project to date with paved roads into and inside the park. With a passed tax from three to four percent, the project would be one step closer from happening.

Gibbs says with a matching grant from the state, the dirt roads of Coltrane and Seward would turn into paved roads. The city would be responsible to prepare the road way and the state would then pave the roads.

Gibbs believes this project would help enhance Liberty Lake become even more of a tourist attraction.

Phase II to add bathrooms, showers

In Phase II of the Liberty Lake Project, Gibbs added the lake would see bathrooms, showers and a lagoon. The project is listed at around $48,000.

Gibbs has added another item on his wish list with paved walk paths with the aid of a future grant.

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