EGYPT — The community of Egypt, two miles northwest of Ada, may not appear on everyone’s map of southeastern Oklahoma, and that suits residents there just fine. There are several in that area who would rather the area remain peaceful, quiet and safe without the addition of a new county jail.

A forum assisting county commissioners in studying the needs of the courthouse and the county jail are set to meet Tuesday night in the large courtroom on the third floor of the courthouse at 6:30 p.m. The public is invited to attend and voice their opinions.

The Henderson family moved to the area in 1945, and lived in a three room house of about 400 square feet, according to Jerry Henderson. “We six kids lived in that little house without running water, no electricity and we walked to Egypt School. At school we had heat from coal stoves and girls and boys had separate outhouses. We cut a willow tree for a makeshift basketball goal and played on the slope just south of the cemetery,” Henderson said.

Henderson’s father, Paul was instrumental in convincing PEC to bring electric service to the area and worked to bring in rural water to residents. “When the wells couldn’t keep up, we had no water,” said Jerry Henderson. “Now I own a thousand acres around here worth $2.5 million, but the city of Ada treats us like we live on the wrong side of the tracks,” Henderson said.

“I just don’t understand how the Planning and Zoning Commission can tell me what I can’t do on my own property outside the city limits, even though I have a state permit, then turn around and build a CLEET center here complete with new paved roads to get there.”

Henderson said the residents fought having the landfill located in their backyards, but it was built there despite their protests. The road to the west of the landfill was paved, but trucks bringing in trash don’t come from that direction, according to Henderson. “Let me tell you, that landfill is a stinky, smelly, loud place to be near. And the city cleans up the debris on the road about once a week. They aren’t being a good neighbor,” Henderson said. Henderson’s daughter finally moved from her home near the landfill because she couldn’t afford it any longer. The expense of ruined tires from the boards with nails strewn down the roadway not only cost her money, but delays getting to and from town.

Henderson has property on Sandy Creek which is rich in sand that could be mined. However, despite obtaining a state permit to harvest the sand, he said the Planning and Zoning Commission turned down the request for approval. “I can harvest the sand on my property a half-mile from the county road, but the minute I try to take it out on a truck, I would be shut down. I could build a beautiful development on the pristine countryside to rival any in the county, but who would want to buy a new home near firing range, sirens blaring from the officers’ training course and now the possibility of a county jail with inmates all over the grounds?”

This Week's Circulars