County commissioners approve a portion of the future tax revenue for bridge and road repairs

The Creek County Commissioners meeting was held on Monday, March 2nd, at the Collins Building. All the commissioners, Lane Whitehouse, Newt Stephens, and Leon Warner were present as were Treasurer Don Engle, County Attorney Andrew Goforth, and the County Sheriff Bret Bowling.

CastleCom, LLC, Wins Bid

The commissioners approved signing the contract with CastleCom, LLC, of Tulsa,(total bid CastleCom, $72,837.11, plus phone system, $37,953.00). With this approval, the purchase orders (POs) can be cut, since all the paperwork is done. This was a sealed bid that was awarded today and includes a 10 percent contingency fund (added at the front end so a job wouldn’t have to be rebid) to handle any unforeseen expenses. An example cited would be trying to pull wiring through underground conduits, and discovering after digging them up that the conduits were broken, missing, or otherwise corrupted. The contingency fund would be in place to pay for new conduits or repairs. While this is standard, and Chair Newt Stephens remarked that he thought the courthouse renovations had a 20 percent contingency fund. The start date has not been determined yet.

Lease/Purchase Confusion

In contrast, the Lease/Purchase of one or more 2019 John Deere Excavators from SourceWell, Contract #03515 was approved despite a change in the way it will be reviewed by State Auditors. By law, the State Auditors are required to approve lease/purchase contracts prior to the commissioners being able to approve them. There is a special form, 120B, which is a lease /purchase contract that needs to be signed before proceeding. The owner of the local John Deere franchise who would be signing this document is out of state right now.

This time, as County Attorney Andrew Goforth explained, the auditors do not want to approve ahead of the commissioners but sent an email expressing their desire to be notified after the commissioners have approved it. Andrew Goforth said that if the commissioners decided to go along with the suggested bent state laws, a copy of the email should be attached to the contract in question so the county would have a printed reason why they did it the way the auditors asked. The commissioners agreed and approved the contract and change, pending the lessor signing the contract. They also agreed to sign the contract outside of the meeting when the lessor returned from his trip because they needed to get the excavators in service immediately.

Emergency Funding

The commissioners approved using a portion of the FY 2020 future use tax revenue (through June 2020) for repairs on deteriorating bridges and county roads in Districts 2 and 3. District 2 Commissioner Leon Warner said, “If there is a road in my district that is not deteriorating, I haven’t found it. They are all bad!” Chair Newt Stephens, who represents District 1, said that there are about $400,000 in outstanding POs. Twenty percent of the future tax would be used for now, and the other eighty percent would be split equally between Districts 2 and 3 and be used by June. Commissioner Warner said he was “in a bind right now.” Funds available are about $60,000-80,000 a month. The Sheriff asked if there would be money left for the jail, that he was “concerned about paying bills.” The commissioners assured him there would be money left for his needs.

New Safety Committee Chair

Lane Whitehouse said he needed to resign from the Safety Commission Chairman position, due to his health. Leon Warner said that since he was already attending the meetings, “It makes sense for me to step up.” His suggestion was quickly approved while murmurs from the gallery were heard: “NAVY—Never again volunteer yourself.”

Davis Avenue Property Sold

Mr. Eli Mace bid on a property at 119 East Davis Avenue in Sapulpa, and since no other bids were received, he was awarded the property for $1,297 plus administrative costs of $100. The existing building had been torn down.

Approved Utility Permit Will Close Road

A utility permit for Creek County Rural Water District 1 to cross 105th Street South approximately .26 miles north of the South 241st West Avenue and West 103rd Street South intersection (in District 3) will involve cutting the street open. This “open cut” will force the road to be closed, but there will still be accessibility through the area. It was approved, in accordance with county specs, which means it has to be put back exactly as it was prior to the cut. Warner stated he didn’t want a dip in the road.