How much does it cost to run Creek County? $7,832,410.52

Last week's Creek County Commissioners meeting covered a report that explains what many already know: it takes a lot of money to run Creek County.

Estimate of Needs

$7,832,410.52

That’s the number for the 2019-2020 Publication Sheet and Estimate of Needs (proposed budget) for Creek County, which is ranked 26th in area and tenth in population size (71,604 at last count). This a reflection of the projected costs of the needs of the entire county, and will go to all the cities, towns, and municipalities in the county and then be approved by the State Auditor. This report was provided to the Creek County Commissioners by Kerry John Patten, C.P.A. Last year, for the fiscal year ending on June 30, 2019, the 68-page report was published showing an amount in the General Fund as $7,295,494.87 and details the estimated costs in all departments, and the actual costs. This complete report (for last year) is available online at https://www.sai.ok.gov/audit_reports/index.php?action=showcounty&county=19

This report was approved by the Commissioners on Tuesday morning at the meeting which was scheduled then, due to the federal holiday, Monday, Sept. 2nd, 2019.

Graders, Dump Trucks, and Trailers

The discussion turned to dump trucks and graders, as Commissioner Newt Stephens explained that the price of $15,000 with a delivery date of late September, would be a good use of the use tax. Chairman Leon Warner said he had five graders in his district and the newest one is 10 years old with 10,000 hours on it. He said the other four had over 20,000 hours and were “trashy.” He also said they were “way past need, for all five, but we’re not doing that” at $200,000 each. The Commissioners decided to purchase 1 grader for each of the three districts, and including the warranty, the total price was $226,760.00 for each one.

Next, the Commissioners discussed the dire situation concerning the county’s dump trucks. There were representatives from MACK, Western Star, Freightliner, and Kenworth who gave many specifications and prices on a number of dump trucks. The most important aspects were price, the number of speeds, size of the engine, length/capacity of the dump bed, and whether the operator would need a CDL (commercial driver’s license) to operate them. The price range is from $84,400 for a smaller Kenworth dump truck to $136,505 for a higher horsepower Western Star with all the bells and whistles.

On any of these vehicles, funded under State contracts, one percent of the purchase price is returned to the state coffers.

Commissioner Stephens felt each commissioner should “choose individually” because each leader had “different preferences.” He was ready to make a decision since he had already seen what the equipment was and had “kicked tires,” but Chairman Warner said he wanted to look at them. They decided to pass the decision for one week, so the commissioners could visit the dealerships and look at the models that had been discussed.

The decision was made to award the bid for a trailer to IRWIN Trailer Company of Lincoln County (near Meeker) in the amount of $50,999. There were 4 bids accepted and the award had been passed from last week to give the leaders an opportunity to compare the equipment and prices.

Slow Down!

The speed limits within McGuire Industrial Park and Rollings Industrial Park, on West 81st St. South, will be changed to 40 miles per hour as opposed to 45 mph, and 25 mph for the side roads. The changes will be sent to the Department of Public Safety so they can be reflected in GPS. There is a lot of traffic coming from the large trailer park near there, remarked Newt Stephens.

Public Hearing

The Commissioners will hold a public hearing on Monday, September 30, in the Collins Building for the purpose of allowing the public to respond to the addition of currently existing section-line public roads to the Official Creek County Maintenance System. Newt Stephens said there were 14 or 15 houses on that section line road, and they are “in a bad way down there.” It adds ingress and egress in the area, also.

Creek County Habitat

The County-owned property located at 302 E. 4th Street, in Oilton, was transferred to the Creek County Home Finance Authority. The County tore down the dilapidated house on the property, students from the Votech use the site to build a home and return the property to the tax rolls. This program also allows very low-interest loans and extremely low payments to own a home.

There is a home in Drumright currently that is under construction, and the site in Oilton will be next year’s project.

Wetlands Mitigation

The Commissioners signed the ODOT 324a Claim Form for JP (Job Permit) 28681 for the Three Bridges/Deep Fork River Project in District 3. The original permit was approved conditionally in November of 2018, but meeting the Wetland Mitigation Plan has delayed the project.

Related: What is “Wetlands Mitigation?”

About the Author

Lottie Wilds is a native Oklahoman and a multi-talented woman—she is a mother, grandmother, Navy veteran, and lifelong creator. Lottie loves to quilt, decorate, garden, swim, paint, and write stories. She is grateful for every day she gets a chance to get it right.

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