Progress made in county’s 911 feasibility study; emergency resolutions at courthouse to continue for another week

Monday’s Creek County Commissioners meeting took place at 9 a.m. in the ballroom of the Collins Building. Commissioners Newt Stephens, Leon Warner, and Lane Whitehouse were present.

A draft report from Mission Critical Partners, LLC over Creek County’s emergency consolidation feasibility study was discussed in depth. Warner stated that the commissioners have been presented with a report to review and discuss with the stakeholder committee that was created to oversee this issue. After reviewing the report with the stakeholders they will have a meeting to discuss any comments that arose. 

Among other things, the report recommends consolidating the county’s 5 PSAPs (Public Safety Answering Points—911 call centers), one of which is at the Sheriff’s Office, with the other four being in Sapulpa, Mannford, Bristow, and Drumright. 

The report also shows “what we have always suspected,” according to Sheriff Bret Bowling, that Sapulpa receives over twice as many emergency calls than does the county, at 24,008 and 10,452, respectively. 

There was a discussion over the national average hourly wage for an employee answering these calls, which is around $30. 

Warner said that the next step is to form a trust that will be able to start making decisions. 

This item will be back up for discussion at the Tuesday, October 13th meeting. 

CIRB transportation plan

The Board formally approved the CIRB (Oklahoma Department of Transportation’s County Improvements for Roads & Bridges Program) transportation plan for the county. The plan entails the repair of three bridges. Warner stated that a “5-year plan turned into an 8-year plan” and that all the projects appear to be pushed back another year. 

He explained that the CIRB pools Oklahoma counties’ transportation monies so they can get these projects done in a reasonable amount of time. Generally bridge projects cost several million dollars and the county has to save up for each one for years. This organization allows the counties to go ahead and get these important projects finished. 

Warner described a complicated process in which each project has different factors such as size, cost, right of ways, utility easements, engineering studies to be conducted, various federal regulations, NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act) considerations, whether or not its on Indian land, among other things. 

Sheriff’s office audit

A regularly-scheduled audit of the Sheriff’s Office revealed that their annual Commissary Report due at the beginning of the year was never turned in. Bowling apologized for this and said that his office has “accomplished corrections of many other things and this just slipped by.” He said they have “procedures in place moving forward.” 

Warner stated that the numbers do not match up; Bowling said that he will review the report and come back to the Board with a correct accounting of this fund. This is a requirement for the Board’s review and approval of the report before they submit it to auditors.  

Emergency resolution at the courthouse continued another week

The Commissioners voted again to keep emergency procedures in place at the courthouse and other county buildings for another week. As with previous weeks, Warner and Whitehouse were in favor of this while Stephens was against it. Stephens stated, “I think we are taking away from the public by having additional employees [at the courthouse].” Later in the discussion he mentioned that the entire county complex is being sprayed and disinfected and said that “there are a lot of things going on behind the scenes to keep everyone safe.” 

Bowling agreed with Stephens’s stance and gave a report to the Board about how taxing it is for his office to have three deputies at the Courthouse, rather than out in the field. 

Warner cited updated numbers (144 active cases since Friday the 25) and the likelihood that cases would increase after a heavily-attended County Fair and many upcoming local football games and events as reasons to continue to operate under the emergency resolution. 

County Attorney Andrew Goforth gave an update on jury terms, and said that both the criminal and civil dockets have been moved to March. Only the juvenile docket is still scheduled in the upcoming weeks.

E. B. Thompson

E. B. Thompson

Born and raised in Sapulpa, Elizabeth has a Bachelor’s degree in American Studies and is a former banker. She is thrilled to be back in her hometown with her husband Michael and to be contributing to The Sapulpa Times.