JONES, Okla.-- The town of Jones covers thirteen square miles and boasts a population of less than 3,000.
Their tax revenue has been stagnant since 2004 when the Dollar General moved in.
The mayor says it’s time to change that.
“There’s just so many things that our town needs that we’re just unable to do,” said Ray Poland.
He says the answer lies with the new turnpike slated to snake its way through eastern Oklahoma county.
It will go just to the east of Jones and Mayor Poland wants to annex five square miles over there so the city will own the land around the slated turnpike exit at Britton Road.
“Just trying to develop right around there, whether it is, whether it’s through some sort of truck stop, whether it’s a motel,” said Poland.
Poland says that extra sales tax revenue could pay for more police officers, some full time firefighters, sidewalks in town or improvements to their park.
But first, they’ll have to convince the people that live in those five square miles to become a part of their town.
And not everyone is on board.
“He wants that, ok, except the people who own the land now do not. And that’s the battle,” said Steve Maguire.
Maguire has been an integral part of the group, Citizens Opposed to the Eastern Oklahoma County Turnpike.
He actually lives just outside the land Jones is trying to annex.
But he says many of the people in that unincorporated area want it to stay that way.
They don’t want to be a part of any city.
And they’re still fighting the turnpike even moving in.
“We’re still full boar with stopping the turnpike and we will do this to our last breath,” said Maguire.
But the mayor believes it will be built.
And if progress is coming through, he wants his small town to benefit from it.
Letters have already been sent to the roughly 200 households in the potentially annexed area.
Poland says they have to have 65% of the majority property owners and 25% of the residents to proceed with the plan.
He says they should know if it will happen by early November.