On June 13 Sallisaw voters will be asked if they wish to continue the franchise with Arkansas Oklahoma Gas (AOG). City Attorney John Robert Montgomery explained to the city commissioners at their meeting Monday that AOG is in the process of being sold (to Summit Utilities of Littleton, Colo.) and the company wants to tie up loose ends. One of those ends is the 10-year franchise with the City of Sallisaw, which has expired.
Montgomery said the franchise must be voted on by Sallisaw voters. The franchise is non-exclusive, meaning any other gas company can set up business in the city. He added that AOG will pay the election expense.
The commissioners approved the election.
City Manager Clayton Lucas announced that an open house will be held at the new Sallisaw Animal Shelter beginning at 11:30 a.m. March 31. He added that an open house is also planned at the Sallisaw Youth Sports Complex in late April, but an exact date has not been set yet.
By a vote of four to one, the city commissioners approved a federal grant for $160,000 for the walking trail project at the Sports Complex. Mayor Julie Ferguson voted against the project. She said her concerns were that women using the trail at night would not be protected, and the cost of lighting the trail would be excessive.
Lucas noted that the grant’s in-kind match, at 80 percent to 20 percent, would be met by city labor on the trail. The grant match is also good for a match on the grant for the proposed splash pad. The pad is to be built at the site of the old middle school.
The walking trail grant is through the Oklahoma Tourism & Recreation Department, and is for a one-mile, eight-inch asphalt trail, a trailhead with parking, benches and signage. The total cost of the project is estimated to be $388,190.
In other business the commissioners:
-approved a lease for airport property with Aerial Services Inc. of Webbers Falls;
-approved a purchasing card program for the city;
-approved a change to Sallisaw Personnel Policies, which will allow the employment of persons with previous felony convictions.
Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director
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