Commission meeting

Woodward County District 3 Commissioner  Vernie Matt and District 2 Commissioner Randy Johnson shuffle through the meeting agenda Tuesday. (Photo by Dawnita Fogleman)

The newest Woodward County numbers had not been updated by the Oklahoma State Department of Health as of the County Commission meeting Tuesday morning, according to Emergency Management Director Matt Lehenbauer.

Lehenbauer did report, however, that the county has moved into the orange level because of elevated numbers mostly in long-term care and assisted living facilities. Editor's Note: Updated numbers from Tuesday afternoon show 132 cases in Woodward County with 46 of them active and 86 people recovered.

According to Lehenbauer, he has filed another $10,508.09 for CARES Act funding.

“The total that we’ve filed so far for the county as a whole was $68,031.91,” Lehenbauer  said. “And that's been primarily what we've done so far as filing janitorial services and protective supplies and then the jail nurse.”

The county has a remaining $425,744.03 that can be filed by Nov. 1, according to Lehenbauer.

Commissioners tabled a resolution concerning funding pursuant to the CARES ACT and the coronavirus relief fund for further review. Filing so far has been very conservative out of concern to avoid an audit. Lehenbauer suggested a more liberal approach may be appropriate after a meeting with Gov. Stitt encouraging counties to count all public safety personnel and not just those hired or working specifically in coronavirus specific tasks.

“During the Governor's meeting where he said you can make the presumption that the public safety staff are affected by, and responding to dealing with the COVID issue,” Lehenbauer explained. “The resolution is basically a statement of compliance with the rules of the CARES Act.”

The board discussed the budget after District 1 Commissioner Troy White, Budget Maker James Kuykendall and County Sheriff Kevin Mitchell came in a little over 30 minutes late, at which time the budget talks started.

Other than a few minor changes suggested, the biggest change is in the way finances are proposed to be directed for the county jail. White proposed the jail and Sheriff’s office be completely separate budgets from now on.

Last year’s combined budget for the jail and Sheriff’s office was about $2.4 million. Once operating expenses for the jail were figured separately, it was found to be about $1,446 million.

White proposed the approximately $700,000 in sales tax, $400,000 in use tax plus prisoner reimbursements be put directly into the jail budget. An additional $227,000 will need to be budgeted out of county general funds to cover the jail’s expenses. Depending on revenue, this could save the county around $300,000 from what was budgeted out of the county general funds last year for jail expenses, according to White.

The board approved the county jail monthly reports for March, April, May, June and July.

No citizens showed up for the public hearing so commissioners closed it and approved the resolution for opening half a mile of county road at the request of an adjoining property owner in District 2. The portion of road is at 221 beginning at EW54 extending half a mile north.

Commissioners approve the county cash fund estimate of needs and request for appropriations for August at $370,212.41.

Maximum monthly highway expenditures for August were determined at $312,248.91.

The County Court Clerk records management and preservation monthly report totaling a $14,936.51 balance was approved.

Commissioners approved the monthly report of $14,421,280.69 invested by the County Treasurer to the State Auditor and Inspector for the month of August.

The board awarded AdvancedCommercial Painting LLC a six-month bid for road striping. White noted their bid for double striping was $.22 lower per linear foot than the other bid.

A lease obligation deposit receipt from Chesapeake Operating LLC was reviewed by commissioners for a supposed 491.606 acres in Section 35 T24N R17W. They moved to send a letter of intent to break the lease of $1.16 per acre. The county can then bid the lease out in hopes of getting a better price.

Woodward County Commissioners meet each Monday at 10 a.m. in the courthouse.

Recommended for you