Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Commissioners May Propose Veterans Center Relocate to Sallisaw

The City of Sallisaw is taking aim at providing care for veterans.

A special meeting has been set for 11:15 a.m. Friday at city hall to discuss and vote on funding and submitting a proposal to relocate the Oklahoma Veterans Center from Talihina. The city is considering setting aside $200,000 as an incentive to bring the center to Sallisaw.

City Manager Keith Skelton said Wednesday the state issued a request for proposals, or RFP, in June. He expects the state will announce where the new center will be located by the end of October.

The Oklahoma Veterans Center at Talihina has 175 nursing care patient beds, for both men and women. It offers a full-time staff of medical providers, registered nurses and other medical personnel.

Skelton said Sallisaw’s proposal includes assisted living quarters, although he said he could not say yet where the proposed center would be located. 

“Myself and my staff are taking the lead on this,” Skelton said. “But it is a group effort by a lot of people.”

The final decision on the proposal will be up to city commissioners at the meeting on Friday.

According to the resolution published in the special meeting agenda, the commissioners understand the importance of such a center to the area economy.

The resolution reads, in part, “WHEREAS, the Board of City Commissioners of the City of Sallisaw recognize that the City of Sallisaw is a perfect location for the relocation of the Veterans Center and that the Veterans Center would provide a great economic impact to the community of Sallisaw and its surrounding areas; and 

“WHEREAS, in partnership with the Cherokee Nation and the Sallisaw Improvement Corporation, the Board of City Commissioners of the City of Sallisaw wish to provide funding for the solicitation of the Oklahoma Veterans Center relocation.”

Skelton said several other cities are also submitting proposals.

Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director

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