Guthrie halts annex talks with popular restaurant

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The Guthrie City Council met for their regular scheduled meeting Tuesday evening and part of the business talk was to end further discussion with the annexation of a restaurant on Waterloo Road.

The council entertained the thought of annexing the restaurant, Steak and Catfish Barn. The proposed agreement by the city and the land owner of the popular Oklahoma restaurant was that the city would collect sales tax from the business and in return rebate some of that tax as an incentive for the business in the first five years. In addition, the city would not enforce the city’s building code on the site.

To further the discussions, Rep. Jason Murphey contacted the Attorney Gerneral’s office for their opinion on the matter. The Attorney General said the annexation would be legal, but that all building and safety codes must apply to the land as it is does in the city limits.

The land owner did not want to meet the city’s building codes and because of that the Attorney General voided the agreement.

“I’m happy that the opinion clarifies this type of annexation is appropriate and a very good decision for the city overall because I think it gives very strong legal standing for using sales tax based economical development incentives,” Guthrie City Manager Matt Mueller said in the council workshop.

“I think in our situation since it is so far from the central city that we don’t move forward with it,” Mueller concluded.

In other business, the council approved unanimously the following:

– all minutes, claims and Treasurer’s report

– approved the budget amendment No. 1 by increasing the budget for Hotel/Motel Tax Fund in the amount of $15,000. Also the Budget Amendment No. 10  increasing the same fund for the year-end (2011) fiscal year.

– approved Folio and Internet cost agreement with American Legal Publishing Corporation. This agreement will allow the city to place all the ordinances and code on the city’s website with a link. The cost is $1,050 for a one time fee, a hosting fee for $375 and $195 annual update up to 100 pages of changes.

– approved changes to leases at the airport as recommended by the Airport Board

– approved to award the construction of Guthrie Animal Shelter to the lowest and best responsible bidder after the May 24th tornado damaged the building.

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