The Woodward News

Local News

August 21, 2012

County approves utility permits

Woodward, Okla. — OG&E is another step closer to starting it's transmission line project, which will stretch between Woodward and Hitchland, on the Oklahoma-Texas border south of Guymon in the Panhandle.

On Monday, Woodward County Commissioners approved 17 overhead utility permits to allow OG&E to cross various county roads in Districts No. 2 and No. 3 as part of the transmission line extension project.

Mike Ruby, OG&E community affairs manager, said the approval of the utility permits is just one step in an ongoing process to construct the new transmission lines.

Currently OG&E is still taking bids for construction of the line, Ruby said.  

However, he provided a brief construction overview, noting that around Oct. 1, building materials will begin to be delivered to 2 equipment yards, with one located near Woodward and the second located in Beaver County.  The actual construction is slated to start around Nov. 1, with the project taking about 15-months to complete, he said.

Prior to approving the utility permits, county commissioners showed concern about the height of the transmission line.

They wanted to make sure that the lines would be high enough to allow for various equipment, such as combines, to pass underneath.  After further review of the permit requests, which stated that the transmission lines would be a minimum of 30 feet high, the commissioners were satisfied that equipment could continue to travel safely under the lines.

A utility permit for Northwestern Electric Cooperative was also approved to allow NWEC to run an electric line to the site of a new house in District No. 2.

FAIRGROUNDS IMPROVEMENT AUTHORITY

County commissioners then discussed a different type of request from the Chamber task force that is considering possible improvements to the Woodward County Fairgrounds.  

Commissioners were asked to approve a list of board members for a Fairgrounds Improvement Authority (FIA), which had been compiled by the Woodward Chamber of Commerce.

The FIA will be comprised of Mark Clark, Ron Hohweiler, Dwight Hughes, Chris Keeton, Melanie Matt, C.J. Montgomery, Terry Nelson, Ira Smith and Melissa Washmon.

Montgomery, who is also the Chamber president, invited Commissioner Vernie Matt to join the FIA board.  However, the county commissioners said they would first have to discuss the matter with the District Attorney's office to make sure there wouldn't be any conflict of interest.

In the meantime, the commissioners went ahead and approved the other FIA board members to get started on making plans for a fairgrounds remodel.

According to Montgomery, FIA members are planning on traveling to other fairgrounds in the state and surrounding states to get ideas for the new buildings.

In addition, he said they also want the community's input on the renovations.

Melanie Matt said FIA eventually wants to hold a town hall style meeting to get ideas from the general public on this issue.

"We really want the people that use these facilities to have a voice in what we do," she said.

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