Tuesday, November 10, 2015

City Votes to Tear Down Old Animal Shelter; Asks for Cost Report on New Shelter

Sallisaw City Commissioners voted to tear down the old city animal shelter at their regular meeting Monday and asked for an in-depth study on how much a new shelter will cost.

City Manager Clayton Lucas II recommended the old shelter be torn down, after engineering reports indicated it would be very costly to renovate.

“It’s in a lot worse shape than we originally thought,” Lucas told the commissioners. He recommended that a pole-barn shelter could be built on that portion of the old shelter property that is not in the flood plain. That would be just west of where the old building stands.

The city had purchased property on Eppler Drive for a new shelter but city commissioners found the cost of the proposed new shelter too high and the protests of nearby residents too loud.

Lucas recommended the pole-barn building. He reported to the commissioners that a 40 foot by 60 foot building could be built for $17,000 and a 30 foot by 100 foot building could be built for $21,000. The interior, including a concrete pad, insulation, kennels, a cat room and an office, could be finished by city employees, which would save the city money, he said. He estimated the final cost at between $50,000 and $60,000, but added it could even be less.

Lucas and Randy Freeman, the city’s animal control officer, will write up the cost estimate for the commissioners.

In other business, Alice Alt, director of development with the U.S. Marshals Museum to be built in Fort Smith, asked if the city would support the project.

"I want to ask for two things,” she said. “Talk about us (the project) and the coins.”

Alt said the museum is selling government-minted coins in gold, silver and gold clad, to raise money for the project. The museum is expected to cost $50 million and so far $20 million has been raised, she said. She asked the commissioners to talk about the coins on social web sites, on the city’s cable television and through mailings. She told the commissioners the museum would pay for any costs, including mailings. “We will put it together,” she said.

Alt pointed out that the museum, when built, will draw many visitors to the area, and many of those will also visit attractions in Sequoyah County, such as Sequoyah’s Cabin.

The commissioners readily agreed to assist the museum project.

The commissioners also:

-Accepted five bids for tree trimming, ranging in cost from $110,000 to $154,967 and turned the bids over to the city staff for review.

-Accepted one bid for annual mowing services and turned the bid over to the staff for review.

-Approved Garver Engineers of Tulsa for airport engineering services.

-Heard a report from Keith Skelton, assistant city manager on the city’s identify theft program, now required by the Federal trade Commission, to counter identity theft.

-Approved a new city ordinance making it unlawful to compose, send or read text messages while driving which coincides with the state’s new law.

-Approved an ordinance authorizing the fire chief or assistant fire chief to allow for exceptions to the fireworks ordinance if in compliance with regulations and laws (this was requested by those of the Hindu faith who used celebratory fireworks at times of the year other than July 4).

-Approved a Sales and Use Tax Agreement between the city and Oklahoma Tax Commission, requested by the Oklahoma Municipal League for all towns and cities, which reduces the commission’s cost for collecting sales and use taxes, and other issues.

-Approved regular meeting dates for the commission, the municipal authority, the library authority, and the economic authority.

-Heard a report from Lucas that the Sports Complex is expected to be finished within the next few weeks, that the Oklahoma Department of Transportation will be reworking the Interstate 40 overpass on Delaware Street, the railroad company will be installing wrought iron fencing along tracks in downtown Sallisaw, that a special meeting on city projects and financing will be held Thursday, and so far this year the city has saved $492,597.

-In an executive session, the commissioners discussed a possible real estate purchase but took no action at the conclusion of the session.

Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director

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