City of Oakley

City of Oakley

City of Oakley

Oakley, Kansas, United States Oakley, Kansas, United States

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The small Kansas community of Oakley, county seat of Logan County, abounds in history, evidence of
ancient geologic history, and expansive natural vistas. Established in the 1880s during a period of western expansion and economic boom, Oakley’s history is notable for being in the locale where William Cody earned his famous moniker, Buffalo Bill, by winning an epic buffalo hunt. Oakley continues to embraces its small town character and celebrate its heritage. Visitors will find that this town of 2,048 people combines the best features of a family-friendly way of life with the benefits of an active interstate highway economy, good schools, and a lively spirit of civic involvement.

The community benefits enormously from its location along Interstate-70, and at the intersection of state highways 83 and 40. The local Oakley Municipal Airport has a 5,000-foot concrete runway and recently received FAA funds for improvements. Local rail and trucking transportation services are also available. Life in Oakley is distinctly affordable. The cost of living index is 20 points below the national average. Cost of living affordability is augmented by Logan County’s designation as a Rural Opportunity Zone, which offers eligible
new residents state income tax waivers and student loan repayments. The City has approximately 90 businesses. The largest employers are Mitten Travel Center, Heartland Foods, the Northwest Kansas Education Service Center, U.S.D. 274, Logan County Hospital, and municipal government. Several banks, farm implement and agricultural service businesses, automotive centers, florists and other retail stores, health-care services, a full-selection grocery, and multiple restaurants and entertainment venues are located in Oakley. Many other retail, leisure, and service businesses are a 20-minute drive to Colby or an 80-minute drive to Hays, the largest community in northwestern Kansas. High quality health care choices are accessible locally and in the region. Five family general-practice physicians affiliate with the Logan County Hospital. Specialty physicians, dentists, optometrists, and therapists are also available in the community. Logan County Hospital is a 59-bed nonprofit hospital with a 24/7 emergency room, modern diagnostic equipment, and general and laparoscopic surgery facilities. The Hospital also offers outpatient clinics in cardiology, orthopedics, and ophthalmology. Local schools are a central point of community pride and unity. The Oakley School District manages elementary, middle, and high school programs at three attendance centers, and also provides a Head Start program. A private school, St. Joseph Catholic School, also offers a Pre-K–5 education program. Post secondary education opportunities are available at nearby Colby Community College and at Fort Hays State University. Two places tell the history of Oakley and its region, enhance tourism, and contribute to the local economy. The Fick Fossil and History Museum, co-located with the library, displays artifacts and folk art that highlight Oakley’s story – from the fossils found nearby from the Prehistoric era to the days of Oakley’s earliest settlement, to the devastating dust storms of the 1930s. The Buffalo Bill Cultural Center recounts the life of one of Oakley’s most famous characters of the frontier era, William Cody. The Center also displays a twice life-size bronze sculpture of Cody’s Buffalo Bill, which was recently designated one of the “8 Wonders of Kansas Art.” Visitors and residents can revel in the vast, rugged, and historically significant landscape of the 100-mile Western Vistas Historic Byway that intersects Oakley. A Byway traveler can reimagine prairie life of Native Americans and later settlers on the Wild West frontier. The Byway’s landscape, with its dramatic limestone formations and abundant fossil grounds, is a draw for both serious and amateur geologists and paleontologists. (Go to http://www.kansas.com/sports/outdoors/article107863027.html) Thanks to the public investments of City leaders, residents can enjoy swimming, tennis, youth competitive sports, a wellness center, leisure walking, and golf without leaving the City limits. The Recreation Commission offers numerous youth sports activities. Numerous voluntary associations reveal a strong sense of community identity and energy. Among the evidence is the Palace Community Theater. With the closure of this 1950s era theater in 2003, the community came together to reopen the theater as a nonprofit organization with day-to-day management performed by Oakley High School students. The Theater features first-run movies each weekend and occasional special events. Over 40 other nonprofit organizations enhance healthcare, develop youth, host celebrations, enable charitable giving, and sponsor civic projects. Community organizations include a dozen churches representing a wide array of denominations. Annual events that bring residents together for fun and celebration include:
• Fourth of July Parade and Fireworks
• Tri-County Cruisers Car Show
• Logan County Annual Fair
• Oakley Corn Festival
• Annual Christmas Light Parade
The weekly newspaper, The Oakley Graphic, informs residents about government and community life. The daily Hays Daily News, Colby Free Press, and Salina Journal are locally available regional newspapers. Oakley also has three local radio stations, KXXX, KQLS, and the Colby Community College Radio