Woodward County Commissioners go over paperwork during their meeting on Tuesday. (Photo by Dawnita Fogleman)

Woodward County Commissioners signed a declaration of a state of emergency for Woodward County Tuesday morning at the regularly scheduled meeting. 

“Do not drive in water and watch for signs,” District 2 Commissioner Randy Johnson said.

According to Mesonet totals, Woodward has received over six and a half inches of rain in the last 10 days with possibly more in some areas of the county, causing significant areas of flooding.

Assistant Emergency Manager Brandon Sample said Woodward County is expected to exceed the FEMA required threshold of $60,000 in damages from flooding.

Commissioners approved an invoice for 10 county bridge inspections.

A permit for public service pipeline crossing from Southern Star Central Gas Pipeline Company for a permanent access approach in District 2 County Road N2 155 was approved.

Commissioners approved a transfer of appropriations from Fair M&O Fair-2 to Fair Board Premiums and Awards SF-4.

The board approved an interlocal agreement with the Town of Mutual to improve and maintain or repair streets.

Circuit Engineering District 8 Oklahoma Board of Directors Program Manager Donnie Head was not able to attend the meeting for the Surface Transportation Program for fiscal year 2023 for the board to consider. This item was tabled.

Fair board members addressed commissioners with concern over usage of safe room at the Event Center. 

According to commissioners, fair board members, and Woodward County Event Center Executive Director Jon Marc Holt, there are two doors to the safe room, one from the Oklahoma State University Extension office and the from the event center. The extension office has had the sole key and control over the safe room. The safe room is one of the classrooms for the educators. Event Center staff does not have access to the room, except by walking around the outside of the building during the extension office hours. 

According to Holt, he and his staff are concerned about working on weekends or after hours and not being able to get to the safe room in case of a storm.

“My concern is the safety of the staff and the safety of others,” Holt said. “I know it can take a matter of minutes before that storm could be on top of somebody.”

After discussion, commissioners approved Event Center staff to have access to the safe room, to find and review contract with the extension, for Holt to get an estimate cost for changing locks on the two doors to the safe room and installation of surveillance cameras for extension office security, and to contact the fire marshal for counsel on capacity and liability. 

County Clerk Wendy Dunlap was also asked to find out if there is any contract with OSU Extension for the building’s use for commissioners to review.

County cash fund estimate of needs and request for appropriations for May is $236,124.49 total, equalling about $78,708 for each district’s use.

Commissioners approved the revised contract with the Oklahoma Department of Corrections with District 3 and the County Fair Barns.

Appointments for Event Center and Fair Barn receiving agents and requisitioning officers were tabled for revision based on auditor’s suggestion that there only be two individuals for each office.

Commissioners discussed in new and unforeseen business the need to spray for mosquitos around the fair grounds in preparation for the upcoming Elks Rodeo and around the county as other events come up where the public may be gathering and susceptible.