By Molly Payne

(Cushing, Okla) — The impassioned pleas from citizens of Cushing were heard loud and clear at a meeting of the Cushing Board of Commissioners on Monday night. An estimate 250 – 300 people came out to the meeting to show their support of Geoff Beasley and his vision for the Dunkin Theatre as a philanthropic project in downtown Cushing. Due to the number of supporters present, only a few were called on to speak before the Commission regarding the Theatre. Greg Babinec, Heather Candler, Richard Thackray, Giakob Beasley, Rebecca Beasley, Dawn Beasley, as well as Geoff Beasley himself, took turns voicing reasons they believe the City should help save the Theatre.

Geoff Beasley told the crowd he had requested help from City leaders through a proposed tax incentive and matching grant of $20,000 from the City of Cushing and Payne County Economic Development Board to be used for a down-payment for a “rather large” ($500,000) bank loan to complete the project. The proposal was on the agenda as part of “Economic Development incentives” to be discussed in Executive Session. According to a Facebook post by Geoff Beasley, by the end of the evening he had received word from Cushing’s Economic Development Director Bruce Johnson that “the Commission had decided to move forward with offering the code improvement tax incentive.”

*Editor’s note: Geoff Beasley will be a guest on HOME with the KUSH Girls to talk about the Theatre on Wednesday (July 24) at 9 am.

Although the Dunkin Theatre may have foremost on the minds of most of the citizens in attendance last night, another proposal received a fair amount of commentary from the guest podium – a resolution authorizing the Chairman and Board of Trustees of the Cushing Hospital Authority to execute a Medical Building Lease with Stillwater Medical Center for the property located at 1030 E. Cherry. Dr. King Morris, Kerri Marks, Tina Peterson and Hillcrest Hospital Cushing CEO Kevin Hawk each addressed the Commission. They spoke of all the positives Hillcrest and Ardent have brought to the community, concerns being raised by personnel and patients regarding the future of the hospital, and of having a direct “competitor” on the hospital campus.

At the end of the day, that resolution (Resolution No. 05-2019) was tabled for staff follow up.

Other highlights of the meeting:

Special presentation thanking Lee and Johna Skinner for their vision of a “community wide event that would bring the citizens of Cushing and the Cimarron Valley together to celebrate Independence Day.”

Special presentation to Donnie Hoover for his years of service as Cushing Senior Citizen’s Center Director. Hoover is retiring and a retirement ceremony will be held on Thursday, July 25th at 2 pm at City Hall. The new director is Debbie Brown.

Swearing in of Officer Taylor Ballard by City Judge Bill Ahrberg.

Conditional Use Permits were granted and renewed for mobile homes on S. Harmony Road, N. Noble and E. Bressy.

Resolution approved authorizing a professional services agreement with Myers Engineering, Consulting Engineers, Inc. for professional engineering services for the UV Disinfection System Replacement at the Waste Water Treatment Plant.

Resolution approved authorizing the City Manager to execute a License and Service Agreement with CivicPlus, LLC for website redesign and hosting service. The new City website is expected to be finished mid-fall.

Resolution approved authorizing to sign offer letters for property and easements necessary and required to construct planned improvements along Main Street (SH 33) from Little Avenue to Harmony Road.

Resolution approved authorizing to execute a State of Oklahoma Department of Transportation Utility Relocation Agreement for the Highway 18 widening project.

Resolution approved authorizing to execute a State of Oklahoma Department of Transportation Utility Relocation Agreement for the relocation of approximately 90 LF of 12″ PVC Sanitary sewer line for the Highway 18 widening project.

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