Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Sallisaw Commission Opposes Sale of GRDA


Sallisaw City Commissioners, at their meeting Monday, adopted a resolution opposing the sale of the Grand River Dam Authority (GRDA) assets.

Sallisaw is a Public Power Community which buys electricity from the GRDA to sell to its own customers at a better cost than in other communities.

The GRDA is a state-owned, non-appropriated, non-profit utility that provides power to Northeast Oklahoma from hydroelectric, coal, gas and wind generation. It provides power for 24 counties in Oklahoma and three other states.

City officials said, given the condition of the state of the Oklahoma budget, talk of selling off the utility assets of GRDA is once again being discussed at the State Capitol, a move that could be devastating for Sallisaw and other GRDA communities who purchase electric from GRDA and resell to their customers. GRDA not only supplies low cost power to its customers, but also provides avenues for communities to grow and prosper. 

The City of Sallisaw has been a GRDA customer since 1952 and has long realized the benefits of being one of over 2,000 public power communities across the United States. Sallisaw, along with other GRDA communities, uses the net revenues generated from power sales to supplement sales tax and other operating revenues to provide many essential city services, such as public safety, parks and streets. GRDA is essential to the economic development and growth of the municipal-owned utilities it serves. 

In other business at Monday’s meeting, the city commission, acting as the Sallisaw Municipal Authority, agreed to purchase for $30,888.25 eight scoreboards for the Sallisaw Sports Complex. The scoreboards are expected to be installed by May 1. Play begins at the sports complex on March 25.

The city commission also:

-Awarded the contract for annual mowing to AC Lawns of Gore, which has the current contract.

-Accepted the donation of exercise equipment from Larry and Donna Lomax for the use of city employees. The donation was made in memory of the late Will Davis.

-Heard a request to repair Carson Road, and agreed to return the road to gravel and to maintain the road as it is used to build the new Aviagen feed plant, with more improvements to be considered after the construction of the plant is completed.

-Approved an agreement with Love Law Firm of Oklahoma City to represent the city in a case filed by Mike Carpenter, a previous city employee, who alleges his Family Medical Leave rights were violated.

-Approved the purchase, for $51,344, for two Ford Explorers.

-Approved a Request for Proposals from engineering companies for a study on traffic on Houser Boulevard in the industrial park.

-Tabled till next month a decision on extending Arkansas Oklahoma Gas Corporation’s franchise.

-Heard from City Manager Clayton Lucas that an open house will be held at 2:30 p.m. on March 30 at the new Sallisaw Animal Shelter, and that the construction of Cell 8 at the City Landfill is underway.

Also as the Sallisaw Municipal Authority, the commissioners approved the purchase of a $28,000 electric conductor for the power line to the new Aviagen feed plant, and approved an engineering contract with Garver LLC for $58,250 for the design of the north substation. Lucas said the substation is old and in need of an upgrade.



Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director

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