Commission meeting

Representatives from E-On answered questions from Woodward County Commissioners during the meeting Monday at the courthouse about the Boiling Springs Wind Farm project. (Photo by Dawnita Fogleman)

Woodward County Commissioners met Monday morning for a long and sometimes tense meeting.

The Woodward County fiscal year 2019/2020 budget was discussed with Budget Maker James Kuykendall with Britton, Kuykendall & Miller CPA.

The Excise Board did not approve the submitted budget with cuts made at the special County Commission meeting on Friday, Oct. 11th. At that time, county officers were able to collectively cut around $484,000 from the budget.

The Excise Board suggested cutting the jail budget back to the amount it was from the previous fiscal year, leaving a deficit of around $125,000.

After a long period of silence, Woodward County Sheriff Kevin Mitchell offered to cut his budget request back nearly $200,000. His cuts were originally over $174,000. These cuts make the total budget for the Sheriff's Office and jail from the County General Fund approximately $1,494,000.

With the rest of the cuts, the budget approved by Commissioners was balanced according to Kuykendall. This budget will go to the Excise Board for approval next before being sent to the State.

The concerns with county officers are that things have been cut to the point that personnel really is all that is left to cut. Of course, none of them want that. All the officers had comments about full work days with the staff they have now and that when an employee or two are gone, the offices are stressed to keep up with the workload.

Commissioners are particularly concerned that the jail be properly staffed for the safety of the community.

The board approved an application for public permit from E-On for overhead transmission lines, underground cable crossing feeder lines and access road permits in Districts 1 and 3 for the Boiling Springs Wind Farm. Commissioners also approved a road maintenance and repair agreement with the wind farm with changes to the agreement to include all trucks, loaded and unloaded. District 3 Commissioner Vernie Matt also asked that trucks and equipment stay on designated roads. Additionally, Matt asked for weekly meetings between the wind farm and commissioners throughout the project.

The Boiling Springs Wind farm applications and agreements were approved by Matt and District 2 Commissioner Randy Johnson with Chairman Troy White abstaining from the vote.

A certificate of compliance for the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority by Wesley Lavong and Ameen Harvin was acknowledged by the board for a tract of land in NE/4 SE/4 Section 15 T21N R20W.

Commissioners approved a resolution for disposing of equipment for the County Health Department to be junked.

The allocation of Alcoholic Beverage Tax for Sept. was approved at $21,020.29.

The board tabled the request from Compliance Resource Group to be the new consortium third party administrator for county drug testing, until more information can be obtained.

A resolution approving the division of fire fighting services sales tax money was discussed and tabled until the county fire chiefs can go over numbers and proposed changes, before possible solutions for allotment of spending for the different county fire departments can be brought to the board.

Commissioners tabled a permit for pipeline crossing from IEA Construction LLC for two temporary driveway entrances in District 3 section 25 T24N R20W pending more information.

The board approved the appointment of Recia Garcia as Fair Board member to fill the vacancy seat for District 2.

Recommended for you