The first order of business was the proposed budget. Several items were briefly discussed before the budget was approved.
One item was the reserve account. Earlene Walker, DIA member, said the reserve account “gets adjusted any time another account is adjusted.”
She also mentioned the digital mapping project, which is a “commitment from the DIA for $75,000.” Walker also noted the addition of a reserve account for the new airport terminal at Eaker Field.
After the DIA members approved the budget, John Cathey, DIA chairman, discussed Phase II of the US 70 Bypass project.
Cathey said ODOT wanted to purchase 16.67 acres of land, owned by the DIA and the city, in the East Industrial Park. ODOT would use the land to build a bypass for Durant.
According to Cathey, ODOT had previously made an offer and the proposal was discussed at a previous DIA meeting. The DIA made a counter offer at $5,500 per acre for the property, bringing the total amount to $92,004 for 16.67 acres of land. ODOT approved the counter offer, and the DIA approved the purchase of the land.
Tommy Kramer, executive director of the DIA, said during Phase I, which extends from Highway 70W to just past Highway 78, 25 acres of land were sold to ODOT. Phase II extends from the end of Phase I to Highway 70E.
Kramer said the US 70 South Bypass will be a “truck route bypass” which will keep semi-traffic and hazardous materials out of downtown Durant. The bypass would create an “express route around Durant” for these vehicles.
Kramer said the bypass will have five access points to Durant: Highway 69/75, 70W, Ninth Avenue, State Highway 78 and 70E.
He said construction has already started for Phase I.