On Wednesday the City of Sallisaw announced that they had officially submitted a proposal to the State of Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs for the relocation of the Talihina, Oklahoma veterans center to Sallisaw. The proposal is in response to a request of the Veterans Commission, issued on June 25, 2018, requesting proposals for the relocation of the Talihina center within 90 miles of the existing facility.
Sallisaw Mayor Ernie Martens, commented on the possibility of the center relocating to Sallisaw in a new facility. “The City of Sallisaw and its many community partners have put together a proposal that will be very competitive. This project is more than just building a facility in Sallisaw, it is about providing the best care and support possible for our Veterans whom have given so much for our country. It would truly be an honor to have this facility in our community.”
The Talihina Center is one of seven licensed nursing facilities owned and operated by the Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs. The facility was constructed in 1921 as the Eastern Oklahoma Tuberculosis Sanatorium. It became a veterans center in 1975.
Earlier this year, the Oklahoma Legislature enacted the Oklahoma Veterans Facility Investment Act of 2018, which directed the relocation of the Oklahoma Veterans Center, Talihina Division. The Act confers authority for selection of the location to the Oklahoma Veterans Commission. The facility will be built with $65 million in federal matching funds along with $35 million financed through the State of Oklahoma.
“Our proposal centers around the best possible location in our area; a location easily accessible from Interstate 40 with State Highway 59 South frontage,” said Sallisaw City Manager Keith Skelton. “The 90 acres we have proposed will give the Veterans Administration sufficient space to construct a state-of-the-art facility with numerous amenities for the residents and their family members. In all, the City of Sallisaw and its community partners have proposed incentives surpassing $1.4 million. I cannot say enough about how our community leaders have come together as partners in this endeavor. Their response to this proposal has been amazing!”
The Veterans Administration expects to announce the location of the new site in late October.
KXMX News Staff
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