Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Sallisaw City Election Set for Feb. 14

Sallisaw City Commissioners set Feb. 14 as the next city election day. Sallisaw voters will be choosing a mayor and chief of police. Both offices are for three years.

The filing period for the election is from 8 a.m. on Dec. 5 to 5 p.m. on Dec. 7. Prospective candidates will file with the Sequoyah County Election Board in Sallisaw.

A public forum will be held on a proposal to provide city land on West Eppler Road as a fire training facility for area firefighters. The time, date and place of the forum will be announced later.

The property, just south of the city’s water treatment plant, was originally purchased as the new location for the city’s animal shelter. But costs and complaints by neighbors, concerned about the noise and other inconveniences, convinced the city to build the new animal shelter at the old site.

Rick Russell, president of the Sequoyah County Fire Department Tax Board, and Steve Padgett, board member and Sallisaw fireman, asked that the property be donated to the tax board at the August meeting.

But Jim Hudgens, Ward 2 city commissioner, asked that the property be appraised first. City Manager Clayton Lucas II told the commissioners the property appraised for $28,000.

Hudgens said the city has $100,000 invested in the property. He also said he had concerns about what impact the training facility would have on the surrounding area. Mayor Julie Ferguson also voiced concerns about the traffic and smoke training and how that would impact the neighbors.

Lucas suggested the property could be leased to the firefighters, the same as other city property is leased to the Oklahoma Department of Forestry for $1 per year. If the leasing party gives up the lease, the property reverts to the city. Russell and Padgett said that would be acceptable.

Hudgens suggested the firefighters hold a public meeting so those who live in the neighborhood could be told about the plans and ask questions or voice concerns they might have. The firefighters agreed, and the time and place of the meeting will be announced later, when they are decided upon.

City commissioners approved an ordinance requiring itinerant vendors pay a $600 license fee per year. The ordinance goes into effect immediately.

Those exempted from the ordinance are garage sales, sales of non- profit entities and organizations, special event vendors at special events, and those selling handcrafted furniture, artworks, crafts, fruits, vegetables and food products at the Farmer's Market.

Lucas announced that a fitness trainer was interested in leasing the old post office on Elm Street as a place to hold classes. Training would be in the early morning and in the evenings, he said. Commissioners told Lucas to begin work on a contract to be approved later.

Lucas announced the city has receive a COPS grant for $125,000 to hire a police officer for three years. The officer would remain on the job for another year, and would be paid by the city, which is the city’s match to the grant.

Lucas announced DiamondNet will be bidding on providing internet services to all the schools in the county, and has just found out that the city of Stilwell will be without an internet provider in the near future. He said DiamondNet is in the process of offering internet service to that city. Providing this service will increase revenue brought into the city.

Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director

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