The Woodward County Commission began its meeting Monday by formally confirming Undersheriff Don Bradley as the acting sheriff during Les Morton’s suspension.

After accepting the confirmation, Bradley informed the commission that he would be looking into the sheriff’s department’s purchasing procedures over the next week to see if any changes need to be made.

He then plans to present “any recommendations to make the process easier” during next week’s commission meeting.

The purpose of his examination into the procedures is to “hopefully help resolve situations from coming up again,” Bradley said.

In other business, the county commissioners discussed entering into an agreement with Keenan Renewable Energy Company regarding road maintenance responsibilities as Keenan prepares to construct a windfarm of more than 50 turbines southeast of Woodward.

Representing Keenan, Cody Hodgden and Michael Resca attended the meeting to present the commissioners with an agreement proposal, which they noted was necessary in order to secure financing for the project.

However, the commissioners had some concerns over some of the language in the agreement and asked that changes be made and that Hodgden meet with Assistant District Attorney A. J. Laubhan to discuss additional changes.

Resca said they will work on a revised agreement to be presented to the commission at next week’s meeting.

As the commissioners continued through their agenda, they approved making a $350 donation to Opportunities, Inc., which is an organization that provides services to low income families in 13 counties in Northwest Oklahoma.

The commissioners also approved the transfer of two small refrigerators from the County Health Department to the county treasurer’s office and the county jail. They also approved disposing of a county trailer through an equipment auction in McAlester.

In new business, Lonnie Cox, with Oklahoma Emergency Management, met with the commissioners to discuss the details he needs to secure reimbursement funds for the county for expenses incurred with the wildfire southeast of Woodward on Feb. 25.

In addition to obtaining reimbursement for the cost of equipment used, Cox said he is also working to obtain a partial reimbursement for fuel costs.

“We’ll get you every cent we can,” he said.

Also in new business, Lt. Kevin Mitchell with the county sheriff’s office discussed a number of checks he received in the mail, most of which were made out to the D.A.R.E. program as a memorial to Butch Hutchens.

County Clerk Ron Hohweiler said the commission would have to contact the county auditor to see how to appropriately handle the donations.

“It’s an interesting dilemma,” Hohweiler said, noting that “we’ve never had anybody give money to the county before--not willingly anyway.”

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