The city council has called a special meeting to consider calling an election to change the name of the city from Sulphur to Sulphur Springs. Should the city council approve the proposal, it will be on the Nov. 4 general election ballot, said Shannon Couch, city clerk.


The city council has called a special meeting to consider calling an election to change the name of the city from Sulphur to Sulphur Springs.


Should the city council approve the proposal, it will be on the Nov. 4 general election ballot, said Shannon Couch, city clerk.


The meeting is scheduled tonight.


The community already calls itself “Sulphur, City of Springs,” and American Indians have long called the area in Murray County where Sulphur stands “the land of rippling waters.”


The community has a population of 4,785. City leaders say a proposed name change will benefit tourism to Chickasaw National Recreation Area and Turner Falls Park, both popular recreation areas.


The community was originally incorporated as Sulphur Springs in 1896, said Bill Holley, city manager.


At the turn of the century, the U.S. Post Office had a policy that didn’t allow a post office site to have two names to avoid confusion, he said.


“We talked to the postmaster, and we were told the name change would not affect them because they do not go by the name of a city, they go by ZIPcodes,” Holley said.


Holley said there are no legal steps needed to change the name other than the city council adopting a resolution and the voters’ approval.


He said preliminary surveys show that the idea has a measure of support.


“A very unscientific survey with a small sampling said 75 percent of those polled were in favor of the change,” Holley said.


Shelly Sawatzky, Sulphur Chamber of Commerce executive director, said, however, that “there are people that are for it and people against it.”


Sawatzky said the chamber’s board of directors has not taken an official stance.
“Monday’s meeting should be good,” Sawatzky said.


Another entity that could be affected by a city name change is the Sulphur School District.


“We have not taken the time to address the issue,” said Gary Jones, Sulphur High School principal.


Jones said it was premature to know what changes the school district would consider if the city’s name is changed.