The Oklahoma Veterans Commission, the governing body of the Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs, announced that Sallisaw has won their bid to become the host city for America’s newest Veterans Center. Last spring, legislation was passed and signed by the Governor that would allow the current operations at the Talihina Veterans Center to be moved to a community that has the resources to support the 175- bed facility for Oklahoma’s heroes. In September, representatives from six Oklahoma communities presented to the Commission real property tracts, local incentives, as well as community characteristics such as business climate, population growth trends, availability of hospital and specialty medical services, and potential referral sources among other topics. Despite strong bids from Holdenville, Hugo, and McAlestar, the OVC voted to trim their finalist list to three cities: Muskogee, Poteau, and Sallisaw. After site visits to the three finalists and a long deliberation in executive session, the OVC chose Sallisaw.
“What an exciting time this is for Veterans, ODVA, and our staff,” said OVC Vice Chair Larry Van Schuyver. “We did our due diligence is researching where this Center should go. Every one of those cities would have been ideal for our Veterans. But no matter who we chose, Veterans won today.”
Pursuant to Oklahoma Statutes Title 72 Section 229.1, the Oklahoma Veterans Facility Act of 2018 (HB3042) authorizes the Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs to develop and construct facilities to assume operations of the Oklahoma Veterans Center as successor to the facility presently operating in Talihina. The next phase in this process will be the selection of who will design and construct America’s newest Veterans Center.