Sallisaw’s new mayor, Jim Hudgens, who was named mayor at a special meeting Monday, said he doesn’t anticipate any significant changes for the city in the future, but the city commissioners will be working on the next city budget next month.
“I don’t know of any significant changes. We will continue to operate as we have,” Hudgens said Tuesday.
Hudgens said he anticipates being sworn into office at the city commission’s next meeting, on May 8, just in time for the city’s budget session on May 17 and 18. The city’s fiscal year ends June 30, he noted.
Hudgens will continue to work on preparation for capital improvement projects that loom in the city’s future.
“We have some significant capital projects we don’t have the money for yet,” he said. He added, “And we have some annual maintenance projects that must be addressed.”
Those maintenance projects include city streets and the north substation, both of which need attention, he said.
“That substation was built in 1983 or ’84, when I was city manager,” Hudgens said.
The capital outlay projects the city faces are the expansion of the storm water retention lagoon at the city’s treatment plant on the city’s south side, which is expected to cost over $1 million, and the relocation of utilities for the widening of U.S. Highway 59. That project, at an estimated cost of $750,000, may be delayed another year or two as the state wrestles with its own revenue shortage.
But Hudgens pointed out, “After a delay of a year or two, I expect that project will be even more expensive.”
To prepare for the future, Hudgens said, “We will just have to work with the council and the staff on a timeline for those projects.”
Hudgens served as Sallisaw’s city manager on two occasions, for a total of 19 years. During his years as city manager, Sallisaw built or improved its power supply, the city landfill, its fiber optic system known as DiamondNet, and the sewage treatment plant.
Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director
For more news stories stay tuned to The MIX 105.1 or visit www.kxmx.com