Tuesday, September 15, 2015

City Approves Deeding Old School Property to Association

The Old High School Alumni Association will be taking over the old high school property and the rotunda, which is all that remains of the original building, as soon as the paperwork is done. The association will pay $1 for the property, which they plan to make into a park.

The Sallisaw City Commissioners approved the property transfer, after discussion, at their city commission meeting Monday evening.

Ward 3 Commissioner Julian Mendiola made the motion to deed the property to the association and Ward 4 Commissioner Daryl Legg seconded the motion. Ward 2 Commissioners Jim Hudgens and Ward 1 Commissioner Ronnie Lowe also voted for transfer, although Hudgens questioned how the association planned to pay for improvements to the property.

Sallisaw attorney Robert Jamison spoke for the association. He said it is estimated improvements to the property would cost about $50,000 and association members plan to seek donations and hold fundraisers for those costs.

In the proposal submitted to the city, the association estimated it would take a year to accomplish the improvements. Jamison said the association will be planting hedge rows as a natural fence around the property, will be building flower boxes, adding picnic tables and adding a stage for local musicians to perform. It is planned that a movie screen be added to the stage to show films and football videos, that vandalized and broken windows be replaced with Plexiglass, and that security cameras be installed to deter vandals.

Jamison, a Sallisaw High School graduate, said, "The rotunda is an entrance to our memory banks."

The discussion became heated when Hudgens questioned how improvements were to be paid for, when Lowe questioned who would be responsible for any injuries that may occur, and Legg wondered what would happen if the association did not fulfill its plan and the property declared a nuisance. Legg noted later that, just like any other city property, the owners (the association) would be cited if the property was uncared for. It was also pointed out the city would not be held responsible for injuries if the association owned the property. Jamison said the association is working with a previous engineers' report on how best to secure the remains of the building and that much of the work on and at the property would be done by volunteers.

Jamison told commissioners that association members wanted the city "out of it," and to have nothing to do with the property. He said association members feared the city would try to "horn in" and take control.

Mendiola ended the discussion when he said the future of the property had dragged on too long. "I just think we need to do it," he said, and he made the motion to transfer the property, which was done.

Other Business:

City Manager Clayton Lucas II reported that work on the old animal shelter was delayed due to concrete crumbling found in the roof. He said another engineering report is underway to determine if the shelter can be saved and at what cost.

Kim Netz and others with People Inc. presented the city with a proposal to adopt a Tobacco Free Ordinance for all city-owned properties. The commission took no action since the presentation was only a proposal.

Commissioners formally accepted a $40,000 Community Development Block Grant from the Oklahoma Department of Commerce.

Commissioners also approved an agreement with the Cherokee Nation for grant funds of $87,616.85 per year, for five years, to hire one employee and produce programs to help reduce prescription drug substance misuse and abuse, by those age 12 to 25, and underage drinking by those age 12 to 20.

During public comment, Robert Morris told the commissioners that Senior Citizens request the city hold a spring cleanup as well as a fall cleanup; announced they will begin showing movies monthly at the Sallisaw Civic Center; and they have begun a food program through which they hope to feed between 150 and 300 families.

Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director

For more news stories stay tuned to The MIX 105.1 or visit www.kxmx.com

   Green Leaf Properties

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.