Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Chamber Accepts Donation, Members Hear About Transmission Project

Jim Harris, left, People Inc. CEO, accepts the Sallisaw Chamber of Commerce 
Business of the Month Award Wednesday from Chamber President Gary Winton
Amber Nelson with Cherokee Nation Entertainment (CNE) presents a check for $10,500 to Gary Winton, Sallisaw Chamber of Commerce president, at a chamber luncheon meeting Wednesday. CNE donates to the chamber every year to help with chamber projects.

The Sallisaw Chamber of Commerce Monthly Membership meeting Wednesday at People Inc. was productive. Cherokee Nation Entertainment (CNE), represented by Amber Nelson, presented a check for $10,200 to the chamber. Judy Martens, chamber director, said CNE makes an annual donation to help with chamber projects. The chamber announce that People Inc. in Sallisaw is the Chamber Member of the Month. People Inc. CEO Jim Harris accepted the award from Chamber President Gary Winton. The guest speaker for the meeting was Phillip Teel from Clean Line Energy, which is in the process of developing a transmission line for wind-generated power from the Oklahoma panhandle to western Tennessee.

With the help of a Power Point presentation, Teel reviewed the project which is "clean, green and renewable." Construction will generate 5,000 construction jobs in Oklahoma, and, when finished, the line will have 500 permanent jobs. The company is still deciding upon a route for the power line, which, most likely, will go through Sequoyah County. Glen "Bud" Smithson of Sallisaw has signed on with Clean Line as an outreach consultant to work with area land owners. Teel said the U.S. Department of Energy is expecting to release a draft of the environmental study of the project on Dec. 12. That will be followed by a 90-day comment period. Teel said Clean Line Energy will most likely hold at least one more meeting in Sallisaw to answer questions about the project. He said the line would be about 40 miles long in the county, and would generate about $800,000 in ad valorem taxes, most of which go to schools. More information about the company and the project may be found on the company's web site at Teel said that, if all goes as planned, construction of the line will begin in 2016. By Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director

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