house exterior

The former Nichols Park caretaker’s house has long been an eyesore for people coming to the park.
Tuesday night city council members approved a plan that will see the nearly 80-year-old structure demolished.
Funds for the demolition will be paid by local resident Don Laughlin with city crews doing the actual work. “He will pay for all of that,” she said.
“It’s a hazard,” said mayor Jennifer Munholland. There are no chances to fix it.house interior2
She pointed out that there has talk about it being a historical monument but said it is not one of those included in the National Register of Historic Places. Parts of the park were given that designation some 14 years ago.
“I would like to see it gone,” said councilor Michael Dickey.
In the National Register, modifications to the caretaker’s house are said to have compromised the historic integrity of the structure.
Prior to demolition, the city will be testing for asbestos contamination.
It has gone unused for some six years and has been vandalized and is deteriorating due to unused and weathering
The house was built as part of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) project that started in 1938 and was completed in 1941
Today the building is unsecured and the interior littered with animal feces as well as trash and debris and parts of the ceiling are starting to collapse.
Demolition of that building will be part of the cleanup efforts by the city at Nichols Park.
house interiorFor the past week, city crews have been removing dead trees that have lined the roadway causing a hazard to vehicles and pedestrians. Around 100 trees are being removed in that work.
Munholland pointed out forestry experts said a fungus is prevalent among many of the trees and have caused a number of them to die.
Council members voted unanimously to tear down the building.
The New Beginnings Baptist Church will be hosting a 3 on 3 basketball tournament at McCutcheon Park Labor Day.
“They want to donate new backboards as well and they are going to follow proper guidelines the same as the school for sports,” Munholland said.
Council members approved Andy Bealko and Bruce Jones as members of the Henryetta Economic Development Authority (HEDA). Bealko will be filling out the term of the late Ron McAfee and Jones will be serving a full five-year term. Both appointments will expire July 1, 2025.
Other appointments made by the council included Aaron Graffman, Janna Duggan and Kala Hurn to the Henryetta Housing Authority.
Approval was given for four properties to be abated. They are located at 509 North Sixth, 912 West Moore, 112 East Smith and 1005 Grant.  Owners of a building at 112 East Smith were given 30 days to demolish the structure themselves or else the city would handle the project. Tabled for 30 days was a decision on a house at 105 East Smith.
Approval was given to Hospitality LLC to lease 12 acres of land owned by the city just south of the I-40 exit west of town.
The land will be used for a travel center and truck stop as well as a new motel. Discussion of the project was brought before HEDA earlier this year. Since then, work on the project had been delayed due to the COVID pandemic but developers are now getting it active again. 

RELATED:  New truck stop, motel in offing for Henryetta

Council members authorized the use of city property for the carnival this Labor Day by a 4-1 margin. Councilor Duggan voted no pointing out that she works at the hospital and knows there are cases of COVID in the county and the area. "I don't want Henryetta to be on the news talking about an increase," she said.
"We just dropped to yellow from orange," Munholland said. "If children are together, masks should be required. The governor has mandated sanitation rules."
Labor Day committee chair Linda Gerster said she has asked the carnival owners to put hand sanitizers at each machine and wash down the rides after each person gerts off.