The Sallisaw Board of City Commissioners tackled funding issues for two integral agencies in the city, the Sallisaw Boys & Girls Club and the Sallisaw NOW Coalition, at their monthly meeting Monday.
Because of a funding shortfall, the Boys & Girls Club has been forced to slash the number of students it serves in the after-school and full-day summer programs.
Mayor Ernie Martens suggested that the city come up with a way to ease the financial strain for the agency by possibly using city tax funds to provide temporary or even long-term funding.
After consulting with city attorney John R. Montgomery, the commissioners chose to hold off on the decision until the panel’s next meeting, which will be at 6 p.m. on Jan. 13, 2020.
Montgomery said the funding would be legal, but it must be specifically tied to Sallisaw and the work the Boys & Girls Club does for city children.
The delayed decision will give city staff time to draft a contract that will outline the terms of the donation.
The commissioners also unanimously voted to approve adding four staff members to the Sallisaw NOW Coalition.
The coalition was recently awarded two additional grants for a total of $3.5 million over the next five years. The funding came from the federal department of health ($2 million) and from Partnerships for Success ($1.5 million).
The $2 million grant was made possible by the First Responders-Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (FR-CARA) and will deliver addiction and recovery training and supplies to first responders and other key community sectors in Sequoyah County. The award is for $500,000 per year beginning Oct. 1, 2019, through 2023.
The Partnerships for Success grant will serve people ages 9-20 in the county. The goal of the project is to increase prevention infrastructure and reduce youths’ use of alcohol and marijuana.
This will be accomplished through implementation of the Strategic Prevention Framework process as well as evidence-based environmental strategies such as high-visibility enforcement of social host laws and retailer education. The program expects to reach more than 32,000 people over the five-year grant period.
The grants will allow the coalition to add additional staff members and modify two current positions. The new positions include a special projects coordinator, outreach coordinator, community educator and grants specialists. Two existing employees will gain new titles: Prevention services director and coalition manager.
In other business, the commissioners approved the purchase of a rebuilt Core Aljon ADV525 Tier 2 Landfill Compactor from Tri-County Equipment and Repair of Pierson, Mich. The purchase amount is $545,000.00 and will be based on a 48-month lease-purchase agreement.
Laura Brown, KXMX Staff Writer
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