Tuesday, February 21, 2017

City Opposes GRDA Possible GRDA Sale



The City of Sallisaw has sent a letter, protesting the possible sale of Grand River Dam Authority (GRDA) assets, to State Rep. John Bennett (R-Sallisaw), with copies to Gov. Mary Fallin, Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb, State Sen. Mark Allen (R-Spiro), and others.

The letter is signed by City Manager Clayton Lucas and includes a city resolution also opposing the possible sale. The letter is dated Feb. 17

The resolution reads, “…the City of Sallisaw strongly opposes any attempt to sell the assets of the Grand River Dam Authority by any member of the Senate or the House of Representatives.

“Be it further resolved that the City of Sallisaw urges Senator Mark Allen, Representative John Bennett and other legislators to vote NO on any bill that may be filed which relates to the sale of the Grand River Dam Authority.”

Selling, or at least sponsoring legislation on how to sell, the GRDA is backed by State Rep. Leslie Osborn (R-Mustang) and State Sen. Great Treat (R-Oklahoma City). The proposal is being considered in the present, and has been considered in the past, to help the state get out of a financial crisis.

The GRDA produces power that is sold to 16 Oklahoma municipalities, and others, at a cost that allows those municipalities to sell the electric power to their own customers at a profit, which is used for public services such as police and fire protection.

Sallisaw is one of those cities and has been since 1952, the letter points out.

The letter points out that any effort by the state to require GRDA to contribute to the state’s general fund will also “be strongly opposed,” because that would be an “unfair tax imposed only on the customers of GRDA.”

GRDA has three hydroelectric facilities and a coal-fired power plant near Chouteau and is building a natural as plant. It also manages and operates three lakes in northeastern Oklahoma, including Grand Lake.


Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director

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