The city of Sallisaw was honored as a Purple Heart city Monday during the Board of City Commissioners’ monthly meeting.
Mitch Reed, acting president of the Order of the Purple Heart, and Larry Van Schuyver, the group’s chairman, presented city officials with a sign declaring the community one of its own. Stating hey are excited for the new veterans’ center to open.
“It will be an honor to work with the city of Sallisaw (on the new veterans’ center). There is a lot of love for veterans here,” Van Schuyver said.
There will be a ground-breaking ceremony for the veterans’ center at a later date, Van Schuyver said, adding that the Oklahoma governor and lieutenant governor will be on hand for the dedication.
Van Schuyver said there is a high demand for a veterans’ center in this area, pointing out that “about 50 people would move into the center today” if the space was available.
City officials also presented the visitors with a proclamation honoring their work for Sallisaw.
In other business, City Manager Keith Skelton introduced “Curbie” to city officials. Curbie is the new grapple truck city workers will use for trash collection on curbs. It went into service Monday, Skelton said.
The commissioners approved a memorandum of agreement (MOA) between the Sallisaw NOW Coalition and the City of Sallisaw. The city acts as the fiscal agent for the coalition. The new MOA clarifies the financial management roles and responsibilities of the coalition and the city. The approval will allow Sallisaw to continue as the coalition’s fiscal agent.
Commissioners also approved a change order to the planned remodel of the new civic center. The original order was in an amount not to exceed $393,767, but the subsequent contract the city signed was for $366,767. The change order does not increase the amount awarded, it simply corrects the original bid and contract amounts.
In other business, the city council heard about ongoing attempts to clean up a pair of dilapidated sites within Sallisaw. Commissioners voted to declare the two properties, one at 2412 E Cherokee Ave. and the other, at 2750 W Cherokee Ave., public nuisances.
The council also approved a plan to add another field technician for the city’s telecommunications service. Skelton told commissioners the new position will bring the department up to nine employees and will reduce overtime hours employees have been working. Skelton pointed out that the city now has more than 2,800 customers on its system, with more than 450 of them on Sallisaw’s wireless Internet system outside city limits. The staff has put in 988 hours of overtime since Jan. 1, Skelton said.
Commissioners approved the amendment of the city’s master fee schedule and rate changes in that schedule. The rate adjustments are for the new civic center, which will be implemented when the facility is ready to use. The change would increase the maximum commercial utility account deposit to $5,000 from $2,000. The adjustment also establishes service fees for use of the new grapple truck.
City officials also approved the repeal of several ordinances and added a new section to the city’s Code of Ordinances.
Commissioners also approved a rezoning request by Allen D. Owen Jr., doing business as JRT Trucking. Officials want the property, 1615 Lennington, rezoned from general commercial (C-3) to industrial (I-1). Owen intends to operate a motor freight terminal in Sallisaw. He projects having at least 125 semi-trucks traveling in and out of the city when the business opens.
Laura Brown, KXMX Staff Writer
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