County Commissioners discuss ARPA allocation

Chair Newt Stephens announced there was nearly a significant amount of ARPA money that had not been expended. 

“Andrew and Jennifer have done amazing work, they got in here and gave a brief summary of the accounts; what has been spent and what has not been spent.”

He stated there was $5,399,006.59 left in the General Revenue Account and $2,471,815.58 which could be spent in other categories.

“I think we start looking at a bigger ticketed items that can be completed quickly within the timeframe. I do not think we have time for another round of sewer and water, just from the current timeframe of the seven we are working with and none being completed yet. We still have several that haven’t let for bid yet”, said Stephens.

Possible applicants who were discussed were: Caring Community Friends, Youth Services of Creek County, Bristow Historical Society, and rural fire departments, among many others.

Counsel Andrew Goforth said: “We are keeping a short list of people who have approached the group with interest.”

Jennifer Mortazavi asked how the remaining money could be spent, “It is for anything that we are legally allowed to spend money on. Any expenditure that the County would otherwise be legally allowed to spend, not just internal, but it could be general revenue.”

The Board suggested that the ARPA committee meet again to prioritize projects.

“The Committee will need to review the requests and see what category they might fall under, and then we can present them to the Board. Stephens stated he wanted to spend $3 million to overlay the roads in all three districts.

“We were able to make a big impact with the first round, and I think this would benefit all citizens to continue this. The previous process was very transparent, and each project was approved by the Board.”

Newt stated that he had talked to Eddie at Dunham’s Asphalt and was told the company would reduce the current price by 3% and waive the mobilization fee if the county did another ”big project.”

He further stated that the prices will most likely increase in July. “I think we should get started quickly to save some money and be able to make a bigger impact.”

Commissioner Leon Warner wanted to table the vote for the project until the next meeting, but Stephens felt the Board should act quickly.

Up till then, all three commissioners agreed on what should be done, however, when the Chair suggested that the $3 million for road repairs be split evenly among the three districts, Warner vociferously disagreed

Warner stated he felt it was not equitable to give an equal amount of money to each district when there was a disparity in the miles of road in each district.

After several minutes of tense debate, Stevens made a motion to expend $3 million to be divided evenly among the three districts, Jared Whitehouse seconded the motion. The motion passed thee to two, with Leon Warner voting no.

In other business, the Board voted to sign Resolution#2023-46, a proclamation and recognition of the retirement of Joy Naifeh for her 51 years of dedicated service.

Commissioners voted to surplus a 2012 Laptop Computer, a 2019 HP ZBook Laptop, and a 2018 Laptop Computer and to dispose of said items to be junked. 

The Board voted to sign Resolution#2023-48 re-appointing Creek County Home Finance Authority trustees with terms ending 2026: District 1-Greg Pugmire and Zack Dyer; District 3-Dave Roberts.

A motion was passed to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the City of Tulsa, on behalf of the Tulsa Police Department, for scheduling, use, and information dissemination of the TPD Northeast Regional Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN) Program. Bret Bowling, Sheriff, stated this allows the Creek County Sheriff’s Office to work with the TPD in the testing of shell casings from a crime scene.

Commissioners voted to accept the Creek County Assessor Turnover Audit with the correction that Reception Desk INV# H19.10 is not missing and has been located in the Commissioner’s Office.

The Board voted to accept Bid#23-17 Courthouse Coping Repair and pass for one week until 5/1/23 to review the single bid that was received.

Commissioners passed a motion to let for Bid#23-21, Hay Bailing/Mowing Service, to be opened on 5-15-23. There was discussion of this being the first time to let for this type of project. Andrew Goforth, Assistant District Attorney, stated the County has done this in the past without a bid, and they just took the best-qualified vendor. Jana Thomas stated this is 12 acres outside the maintained area of the Juvenile Justice Center located in Bristow.

The Board voted to sign an engagement letter from Kerry Patton, C.P.A., for Estimate of Needs for FY2023-2024, in the amount of $7,475.00.

The BOCC meets every Monday at 9 a.m., in the upstairs meeting room at the Collins Building.