County Commissioner Updates: County Road Confusion, EOM, SS Benefits

Lottie Wilds and Brooke DeLong, Staff Writers

The regular Creek County Commissioners meeting was held Monday at 9 a.m., January 27th in the Collins Building. Chairman Newt Stephens and Commissioners Lane Whitehouse and Leon Warner were present.

OLIVE FIRE DEPARTMENT REQUEST

Olive Fire Chief Jason Dobson

Jason Dobson, Chief of Olive Volunteer Fire Department, asked the commissioners to award a bid to purchase a generator for Olive Volunteer Fire Department. The bids included a concrete pad, a security fence, and an upgraded generator. The bid was awarded to Faith Electric, Inc., of Tulsa,  at $8,585.00 which was the lowest quote. Another quote was $9,233.00. County Commissioner Leon Warner asked about completion time. Fire Chief Jason Dobson expected it to take three weeks.

REZONING CONFUSION 

Joshua and Kimberly Shinault have requested approval of a rezoning from Agricultural to Light Residential District for their new construction located near South 106th West Avenue and West 171st Street South in Sapulpa (about 5 miles south of downtown Sapulpa off South Hickory at W. 171st. S. in Whispering Hills subdivision). The commissioners discussed that easement requirements have changed since 1975, from 20 feet to 35 feet, so easement is now in the road. A frustrated neighbor complained that it would be easier for her to sell her house than go through the rigmarole of changing zoning and getting a county-maintained road. She said others were trying to sell instead of building homes there for the same reasons.

Four times in the last year roads have been taken onto the county-maintained road list, so it is “doable,” according to Chair Newt Stephens. Commissioner Warner quipped: “It’s your district!” The request was tabled until more research could be done.

SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS

The County Treasurer Don Engle requested an account for the Creek County Sheriff’s Office to accept funds from the Social Security Administration from inmate payments. These funds can be placed into the Sheriff’s Board of Prisoners Account and tracked. (Normally, anyone on Social Security or anyone who becomes eligible for benefits while incarcerated does not receive them. The Social Security Administration freezes their account and spends “their” money somewhere else until they are released.) The Prisoners Account allows the County to receive some benefits and revenue for housing inmates and to track the accounting. If requested in a timely manner, $400.00 per prisoner is available, if not timely, $200.00 per person is available. 

SOM FOR DISASTER

Covey Murray, CEM, Creek County’s Emergency Manager, has asked the commission to establish Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for the documentation of disaster response in Creek County.  (A Certified Emergency Manager, CEM, “has the knowledge, skills, and ability to effectively manage a comprehensive emergency management program.” An Emergency Operations Plan—EOP— is such a plan.) Mr. Murray explained that pictures should be taken during the first minutes of an emergency, and notes taken, so that back-tracking and guesswork would be eliminated. Also, pictures of completed repairs and repeated repairs should be time- and date-stamped for accuracy.  He asked that designated personnel be assigned in each district so that this essential task would be done in a timely manner. He volunteered and asked for others to be assigned or to volunteer. Often, Murray stated, the county cannot be paid for making temporary repairs from continuous washouts, for instance, because the documentation is not available. 

Chairman Newt Stephens said it was time for the county to stop “‘flying by the [seat of our] pants” and have a procedure manual and name positions with back-ups, not individuals. This action was tabled until Stephens and Covey could get together and write a plan/manual. 

SURPLUS COUNTY JUNK

A 2013 Ford 4-door F-150 truck will be surplused and donated to the Drumright Police Department, a value of over $100,000.00, according to Sheriff Bret Bowling, because of the lights, sirens, and all equipment that are included. 

Also, from the Creek County Commissioners’ Office, several computers dated from 2002, which have been pieced out over the years and are now useless were approved to be junked. There is a vendor willing to pick up the computers and dispose of them at no cost to the county, but this vendor has suggested that the cost to dispose of monitors is now about $10-25 each, so the county should add that cost to the budget in the future. County Attorney Andrew Goforth said that a lot of the items on the inventory were attached (fixtures) to the buildings, like the air conditioning units and boiler in the Courthouse, and there was “no reason for these to be on the inventory.”

REIMBURSE WORKERS COMP

The Commissioners approved directing the County Treasurer to credit Creek County General Government Retirement/Worker’s Comp/Unemployment fund with funds from the Oklahoma Public Employment Retirement System for reimbursement of a previous employee’s contribution in the amount of $487.48. 

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