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COUNTY NEWS & ANNOUNCEMENTS     

4-H DAY AT OAKWOOD MALL - 4-Hers from Grant County will travel to Enid, Saturday, January 8, 2011 to participate in the twenty-sixth annual "4-H" Day at Oakwood Mall. Over 300 4-Hers from Northwest Oklahoma are expected to participate in the daylong activities.

Those participating from Grant County are Christina Houck and Ashley Sellers, Wakita 4-H with a working display, Smoothie Demonstration; Camden Cope, Medford 4-H presenting “Nifty Keychains”working display and participating in the speech contest; Molly Blaser, Deer Creek Lamont 4-H will give a take part in the speech contest.


Participants from across the N.W. District will display projects dealing with such diverse 4-H activities as woodworking, electricity, safety, care of animals, environmental awareness, clothing, foods, leisure arts, computers, fitness, photography, etc. Participants will also be competing in a district-wide speech contest.

These displays are unusual in that they are all working displays. The public is encouraged to ask questions of the 4-Hers. Our 4-H members are excited about this opportunity to share with the public what they have learned through their project work. It is not always learning the basic steps of doing something either, as many are "quite in-depth." The displays are scheduled from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at fifteen different locations throughout the Mall. The presenters and subject matter will change each hour.

The day will begin with a mini-float parade at 10:30 a.m. followed by two 4-H Fashion and Share-The-Fun Shows beginning at 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. They will feature talent acts presented by 4-H youth, and 4-Hers modeling apparel they have coordinated or constructed.

The public is not only invited to come out and see the positive things youth are doing, but to come out and learn from what the youth have to share. 4-H has come a long way in the past 100 years from its rural roots. Today it has projects that are of interest to youth regardless of where they live or what their interests are. The Mall Day would be a good opportunity for prospective members to come and see what 4-H has to offer. There are just as many 4-Hers who live in towns and cities with populations over 10,000 than 4-Hers living on the farm or small towns. Generally, 4-H is for youth 9-19 years of age but many counties have a Cloverbud Program for youth under nine.


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OHCE BEGINNING QUILT GROUP MEETING - The next Oklahoma Home and Community Education (OHCE) Quilt group meeting will be Tuesday January 4 at 7:00pm.

The meeting room will be open at 5:00pm for those who want to arrive early to sew. Shari Eulberg will demonstrate the current quilt block of the month pattern.

Anyone interested in quilting is invited to come to the meeting. Rotary cutting tools and sewing machines will be available. Accomplished quilters are also WELCOME!

For more information contact Robyn Rapp, Grant County Extension Educator Family & Consumer Sciences/4-H Youth Development at the Grant County OSU Cooperative Extension Office, 580-395-2134, or grant.oces@okstate.edu.

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COMMISSIONERS TABLE SANDRIDGE OFFER - The Grant County Board of Commissioners came to order at 9 a.m. December 20, 2010, with Commission Chairman Max Hess and Commissioner Cindy Bobbitt present. Commissioner Jerry Shaffer was not present. Hess said Shaffer was running late because he was discussing the SandRidge proposal with attorneys (see more information below). Bobbitt led the prayer, and Hess led the flag salute. Also present were County Clerk Debbie Kretchmar, Treasurer Penny Dowell and Grant County Excise Board members Melvin McFeeters and Arthur Green. Korina Dove arrived at 9:04 a.m. Ken Kiser left his tape recorder at 9:13 a.m. Shaffer arrived at 9:16 a.m. David Haynes arrived at 9:23 a.m. SandRidge representatives Cass Meier and Scott White joined the meeting at 10:13 a.m. Assessor Phil McCoy joined the Board of Tax Roll Corrections meeting at 10:30 a.m.

The minutes from the December 13, 2010 meeting were tabled because Bobbitt was not present at that meeting. She requested they be tabled until Shaffer and Hess, who attended the December 13 meeting, could review them.

Under public comments, Dowell said she is not in favor of a proposal from SandRidge to have the courthouse open after hours for three months to view public land records. The company has offered the county $100,000 to keep the courthouse open after hours. Dowell said the strain on the county clerk’s office is too much already, and keeping the office open after hours would be an additional burden.

December appropriations were reviewed and approved.
Bobbitt motioned to approve transfers of appropriations. Shaffer seconded. The motion was approved.

Shaffer motioned to approve the minutes from December 13. Hess seconded, with one correction. Hess and Shaffer voted aye. Bobbitt abstained.

Shaffer moved to approve December payroll. Bobbitt seconded. All voted aye.

Shaffer motioned for a recess at 10:52 a.m. Bobbitt seconded. The motion was approved unanimously. The meeting reconvened at 10:19 a.m.

Bobbitt motioned to review purchase orders and travel claims. Shaffer seconded. All voted aye.

Shaffer stepped out of the meeting to take a phone call.
Bobbitt motioned to open bids for election ballots. Hess seconded. Hess and Bobbitt voted aye.

Commissioners voted to approve purchase orders and travel claims and voted to skip to Item G, SandRidge courthouse lease, on the agenda. Shaffer said he has received information regarding the legality of the courthouse lease proposal but has not had time to review the information. He said the main purpose for considering the proposal is the extra funding ($100,000) offered to the county. Scott White said other economic benefits are that SandRidge is the most activated driller (12 rigs) in the county.

“You’ll see a significant increase in 2011,” White said. “I don’t see that slowing down.” 

SandRidge has plans to drill about 450 horizontal wells, which require saltwater disposals.

Changes that have been made to the agreement by the county and SandRidge have been approved by SandRidge’s legal department. Bobbitt said she has not seen the agreement and asked for a copy. Copies were provided for Hess, Shaffer, Bobbitt and Kretchmar.

Shaffer said changes included:

If the county terminates the lease early, a prorated amount would be refunded to SandRidge.

If SandRidge terminates the lease early, no money would be refunded by the county.

SandRidge will provide an additional $10,000 per month to cover salaries and other expenses incurred by the county, making the total cost for the proposal $140,000.

The term of the lease will cover January 3, 2011 through the month of April. The courthouse will not be open any holidays or Sundays.

Shaffer said in no way is he trying to cause anyone distress. The main purpose is to accommodate the people in the county. He received a letter from the county’s legal counsel the morning of the meeting and had not had a chance to review the information.

Bobbitt said she has visited with farmers and ranchers in her district, and they are in favor of the proposal because they want SandRidge to lease their land. Hess said earlier in the meeting that constituents in District 1 also are in favor of the proposal.

Kretchmar said more than 1,000 leases been filed, and about 300 are from SandRidge. One of SandRidge’s leases was 152 pages. Another was 58 pages.

“Apparently you are still being able to work in my office,” Kretchmar said.

Kretchmar has put those viewing land records on schedules to come into the county clerk’s office in groups.

“They say they are getting their work done,” Kretchmar said.
“Having one company come in is a bit of an unfair advantage to the other companies,” Kretchmar said. “This has all been talked about around my head, and I am the only one who can sign a contract for my office, so I’ve been told by my counsel.”

Shaffer said he is not wanting to put a hardship on

Kretchmar’s office. The commissioners are just trying to help the county.

Bobbitt motioned to recess the meeting at 11:24 a.m. to review legal information and reconvene at 1:30 p.m. Shaffer seconded. All voted aye.

The meeting reconvened at 1:30 p.m. Commissioners tabled the decision regarding the SandRidge lease.

Commissioners approved temporary water lines in 15/22-27-7, 28/29-29-6 and 10/11-26-6 (Item F).

Also passed was a resolution for safety awards. Each qualified employee will receive $250.

Blanket purchase orders were approved.

Under commissioner comments, Bobbitt said she attended the second annual Commissioner/District Attorney Conference.
Under new business, crossing permits for Crescent Services were approved for temporary waterlines for SandRidge.


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SANDRIDGE PROPOSAL STILL ON TABLE - The Grant County Board of Commissioners convened the regular meeting of December 12, 2010, at 9 a.m. with Commission Chairman Max Hess and Commissioner Jerry Shaffer present. Commissioner Cindy Bobbitt was absent. Also present were County Clerk Debbie Kretchmar, Treasurer Penny Dowell and Korina Dove. Ken Kiser left his tape recorder at 9:10 a.m.

Shaffer led the prayer, and Dowell led the Pledge of Allegiance.

Commissioners reviewed and approved the minutes from the December 6 regular meeting.

There were no comments from the public.

Shaffer moved to review payment of purchase orders and travel claims. Hess and Shaffer voted aye. Shaffer moved to approve payment of purchase orders and travel claims. Hess seconded. Both voted aye. The motion passed.

Shaffer moved to approve two transfers of appropriations. The motion was passed. The assessor asked for the transfer of $967.31 from Capital Outlay to Maintenance and Operations for correction of funds appropriated to wrong account. Also transferred was $16,000 from CR Road Projects to the Revolving Fund and Maintenance and Operations.
The commissioners approved a resolution for Less Than Three Ton Action Plan for bridges in District 2.

Hess motioned to approve the allocation of November’s Alcohol Beverage Tax. Shaffer seconded. The motion was approved. The allocations totaled $6,097.11 and were appropriated as follows: Pond Creek, $1,569.38; Medford, $2,052.80; Jefferson, $64.81; Renfrow, $28.02; Manchester, $182.16; Lamont, $814.47; Wakita, $735.65; Deer Creek, $257.48; Nash, $392.34.

Shaffer moved for a short recess at 10:43 a.m. Hess seconded. The motion was passed. The board reconvened at 11:02 a.m.

After review, commissioners Hess and Shaffer approved a request for transfer of payment from the CBRI 105 fund for bridge reimbursement for District 2. Also approved was a request for ETR payment for ETRCB8-27-3(06)09 and ETRCB8-27-(09)09 in District 3.

Hawley Fire Department requested the commissioners sign a letter to Northern Oklahoma Development Authority for the reimbursement of $4,637.77 for a Rural Economic Action Plan grant. Shaffer moved to approve. Hess seconded. The motion was passed.

Commissioners discussed a proposal from SandRidge to lease the county clerk’s office after hours for three months. Shaffer said he had spoken to Larry Derryberry, attorney, about the proposal but has received no more information from SandRidge to further the investigation. Shaffer said Derryberry recommended that the county should pursue the proposal, but more information from SandRidge is needed. Shaffer said he wants to hear more from Assistant District Attorney Steven Young as well. Shaffer said he was told that elected officials cannot participate in the proposal, which is to open the courthouse after hours so that SandRidge contractors or employees can view public records. Kretchmar said deputies in her office do not have the time to work after hours. She showed one book from 1901 that was “together” in July and is falling apart now because of public use. Shaffer said having someone oversee the use and viewing of the county’s books is a must. Shaffer said a SandRidge official said the company would pay salaries of overseers up to $10,000. Someone may have to be trained to oversee SandRidge workers after hours. Any time spent over the three-month proposal, SandRidge would pay an additional $25,000, but no time period was specified. SandRidge offered the county $100,000 to lease the courthouse after hours for three months. Shaffer said possibly half the funds should go to the county clerk’s office for book restoration, etc. Shaffer asked Kretchmar if the proposal might be workable. Kretchmar said if the proposal is legal, she would have to work with it if approved by commissioners. Hess asked Kretchmar if the proposal was worth the hassle. Kretchmar said for $100,000, she would have to see how much part-time help she could find.

Under Item I, the commissioners discussed the Safety Award Program and requirements. Employees who have not worked for the county for a year do not qualify for a safety award. Hess motioned to approve safety awards for employees who qualify for the awards. Shaffer seconded. The motion was passed.

At 11:42 a.m., Executive Assistant Rich Donaldson presented the commissioners with an item sent by Commissioner Cindy Bobbitt that she asked be discussed under new business.
Hess and Shaffer reviewed a request for multiple crossing permits from Crescent Services. Hess motioned to approve the request. Shaffer seconded. Both voted aye.

One blanket purchase order was approved by Hess and Shaffer.

Under commissioner comments, Shaffer said he intends to attend a safety meeting Tuesday. He also asked Kretchmar for a list of blasters that were sent bids so he can bid blasting again at the quarry.

Hess said the Circuit Engineering District meeting and open house is set for December 22; Shaffer said he and Jerry Thomas would attend. Hess said he went to the statewide CED meeting Dec. 8; he had applied for a $500,000 project, which was approved.

Under new business, nothing was discussed.

Shaffer moved for adjournment at 12:10 p.m. The motion was passed.


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EMERGENCY SERVICES, FAIRGROUNDS SALES TAX PROPOSALS GO ON 2011 BALLOTS - The Grant County Board of Commissioners called the December 6, 2010 meeting to order at 9:01 a.m. with commissioners Max Hess, Jerry Shaffer and Cindy Bobbitt present. Also present were County Clerk Debbie Kretchmar, Grant County Fair Board members Steve Stinson, Shane Krittenbrink, Shirlene McKee, Jim Blaser and Phil Ransom. Korina Schneider and Joan Shire also were in attendance. Ken Kiser left his tape recorder at 9:08 a.m. At 9:17 a.m., Sheriff Roland Hula and Nash Firefighters Larry Cokeley and Myles Dershim joined the meeting. Glen Nickles, Rich Allimento and Donnie Head joined the meeting later.

Commissioners considered the minutes from the November 22 regular meeting and officer meeting. The minutes were approved, with corrections.

Under comments from the public, no comments were made.

Commissioners signed Early Watershed Protection agreements with the Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Bobbitt motioned to approve a sales tax resolution for the county’s fire departments, sheriff’s department and emergency medical services. Shaffer seconded. The motion was approved unanimously. The resolution will ask for the continuation of a 1-cent sales tax to benefit the county’s 12 emergency services, including eight fire departments, two ambulance services, the sheriff’s department and the Grant County Emergency Services Association. If passed, the tax will continue for 10 years. The issue will go to a vote of the people during a special election set for March 1, 2011.

Also approved was a sales tax resolution to provide a ¼-cent sales tax earmarked for improvements to the Grant County Fairgrounds. The tax is proposed to continue for 10 years. The resolution will be considered by the citizens of Grant County during a special election set for February 8, 2011. Shaffer motioned to approve the resolution. Bobbitt seconded. The motion was approved unanimously.

Bobbitt motioned to review purchase orders and travel claims. Shaffer seconded. All voted aye. Shaffer motioned to approve purchase orders and travel claims. Bobbitt seconded. All voted aye.

Transfers of appropriations were approved.

Bobbitt motioned to jump to New Business to hear from Nickles, but he had no comment.

Circuit Engineering District 8 Director Donnie Head presented inspection claims and invoices for bridge inspections. In District 1, there were 51 bridges inspected at a cost of $9,852.30. Sixty-six bridges were inspected in District 2 at a cost of $12,573. In District 3, Head said 51 bridges were inspected at a cost of $9,811.80.

Shaffer moved for a recess at 11:26 a.m. Bobbitt seconded. The motion was approved. The meeting was reconvened at 11:45 a.m.

Under Item G, commissioners approved a crossing permit for the Town of Wakita in District 1.

Also approved were crossing permits for ConocoPhillips and Crescent Services in District 3.

Commissioners considered approval of the 2011 holiday schedule. Two options were presented. One option included closing the courthouse for 13 days, including Columbus Day. The other option included 12 paid holidays, excluding Columbus Day. Shaffer motioned to approve the option for 13 holidays. Bobbitt seconded. All voted aye.

The board also considered the 2011 schedule of meetings for the board of commissioners. Bobbitt suggested adding six regular meetings on Thursdays to approve payroll. Bobbitt motioned for the addition. Shaffer seconded. All voted aye. The schedule was later changed to five additional meetings.
A collateral inspection report from State Exchange Bank for all districts was reviewed. The report was approved and signed by all three commissioners.

Jennifer Stacy was designated requesting officer for the treasurer’s office. Stacy replaces Mandy Smith, who resigned.

Commissioners approved salary reimbursement claims for three months for the election board secretary.

The board also approved crossing permits from Atlas Pipeline in District 1 and District 3.

Bobbitt motioned to approve a Notice to Bid for election ballots. The motion passed unanimously.

Shaffer moved to approve a Notice to Bid for the 6-month material bid. The motion was passed by all three commissioners.

Hess motioned to approve blanket purchase orders. Shaffer seconded. All voted aye.

Under commissioner comments, Bobbitt discussed legislation that was discussed at the recent National Association of Counties conference and encouraged everyone to visit the county’s Web site at www.grantcountyok.com.

Hess said he attended a safety conference. Due to new requirements, lettering on the county’s new signs will have to be changed during the next nine years. The first letter of every sign will have to be capitalized with lowercase lettering following. Executive Assistant Rich Donaldson gave highlights of the recent safety meeting and said signs will have to be replaced with the new lettering at the end of the sign’s life. Stop signs will need to be larger, but Donaldson said most of Grant County’s stop signs are up to code already. Hess also said the National Cotton Growers Association is trying to pass regulations regarding spraying weeds on the county’s right-of-way. Hess did not have specifications but said, if passed, the regulations will affect the way the county sprays and mows ditches. He also warned against the dangers of a new synthetic marijuana, available over-the-counter, called Spice.
Under new business, Shaffer asked if Christmas bonuses will be given. No policy is in place to give bonuses or safety awards. Hess said he is in favor of giving bonuses, if possible. Bonuses were not budgeted. Bobbitt suggested putting the item on next week’s agenda.

Bobbitt motioned to adjourn at 12:52 p.m. Shaffer seconded. All voted aye.


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PAMPER YOUR FEET LESSON DEC. 9 - An educational lesson titled: “Pamper Your Feet” will be presented by Robyn Rapp, Grant County Extension Educator Family & Consumer Sciences/4-H Youth Development on Thursday December 9 at 11:00 am at Greazy Steve’s Restaurant, 522 W Cedar Street in Pond Creek Oklahoma.

The public is invited to attend and stay for Dutch treat lunch after the lesson. For more information or a copy of the printed handout call 580-395-2134 or email grant.oces@okstate.edu.


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COMMISSION NIXES JEFFERSON PARK MOTOCROSS PROPOSAL, LOOKS AT OPENING COURTHOUSE AFTER HOURS - The regular meeting of the Grant County Board of Commissioners was called to order at 9:06 a.m. with commissioners Max Hess, Jerry Shaffer and Cindy Bobbitt present. Bobbitt led the prayer, and Shaffer led the flag salute. Also present were Grant County Excise Board members Melvin McFeeters and Billy Joe Halcomb, Treasurer Penny Dowell, Larry Don Dewey, Kyla Barr, Micah Barr, Korina Schneider and Ken Kiser’s recorder. Phillip York with SandRidge arrived about 10 a.m.

After review, the minutes from the November 15, 2010 regular commission meeting were approved unanimously.

Under comments from the public, Micah Barr commented on Item G, Jefferson Park lease proposal. He said he wanted to respectively remind commissioners of a public meeting held a couple weeks ago with 41 people in attendance. Those in attendance, Barr said, were overwhelmingly against turning Jefferson Park into a motocross track as was proposed last year by Enid resident Mike Burdick. Barr said the commission should be commended for seeking things to bring into Grant County and that Grant County citizens want to see the county grow and improve, but people are overwhelmingly against building a motocross track at the park. Dewey asked if the agenda item would be voted on during the meeting. He said he echoed Barr’s comments. Dewey suggested commissioners and constituents work together to improve the park area. He said he knows county funds are tight, but he thought the costs of improving the park might include as little as some fuel, which maybe could be donated, and volunteers seemed willing to help with the upkeep of the park. The general consensus of the group at the special meeting was that they would like to see something done with the park, but people do not want it to be made into a motocross track, Dewey said.

Bobbitt motioned to jump to Item G, Jefferson Park lease proposal. The motion was approved. Bobbitt then motioned to decline the Jefferson Park lease proposal. Shaffer seconded, and all voted aye.

Shaffer motioned to move to Item A, November appropriations, which were approved.

November payroll was approved unanimously.

Phillip York attended the meeting to represent SandRidge for Item D on the Agenda. Commissioners reviewed and approved the item, SandRidge Oil Lease and leases pertaining to Grant County. Hess asked York how other counties handle road upkeep issues. York said he was not aware of how other counties handle those issues.  York suggested Hess make a list of expectations, and York would pass it on to the company. In reviewing the lease, Bobbitt noted that the description and acreages did not match.
Bobbitt motioned for a short recess at 10:18 a.m. to ask Assistant District Attorney Steven Young about the wording in the lease. York corrected the wording of the lease during the recess. The commissioners voted to reconvene at 10:34 a.m. following the Grant County Board of Tax Roll Corrections. York presented the corrected copies of the lease to the board. The board signed the documents.

Shaffer discussed a proposal e-mailed to from SandRidge Energy: the proposal suggested potential weekend and after-hours access to the courthouse and county clerk's office by SandRidge Energy employees.  A contract would outline all the conditions.  The district attorney needs to be contacted, and the board needs to discuss legality issues as well as auditing issues.  Shaffer, Bobbitt and Hess all said they want to pursue the matter further.

Bobbitt motioned to review purchase orders and travel claims. The motion was passed. Bobbitt motioned to pay purchase orders and travel claims. The motion was passed.

Commissioners approved crossing permits from Crescent Services for temporary water lines in District 1 and District 3.
The sheriff’s monthly officer report was approved, subject to audit.

Bobbitt motioned to approve an application for funding of an STP project in District 1.

Two crossing permits for the Town of Wakita were approved.
Commissioners approved a crossing permit in District 1 for Atlas Pipeline.

An agreement between Grant County and the OSU Extension Office for fiscal year 2010-11 was approved.

There were no blanket purchase orders.

Under commissioners comments, Bobbitt said the conference she attended last week went well. Shaffer said the recent blast at the quarry was successful. Hess said a bridge was damaged by an oil rig crew, and he wants to talk to the assistant district attorney about the damage.

There was no new business.

Bobbitt motioned to adjourn at 12:31 p.m. Shaffer seconded. The motion was passed unanimously.


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GRANT COUNTY 4-H'ERS HAVE TALENT - Singing, dancing, playing instruments and skits were all part of the entertainment presented by thirty nine 4-H and Cloverbud members during the Grant County 4-H’ers Have Talent on Sunday, November 14, at the Pond Creek-Hunter School Auditorium.
 
In the Individual Division Bailey White, Pond Creek-Hunter 4-H sang “When I Grow Up”, Kierstin Miller, Pond Creek-Hunter 4-H performed a traditional Irish Dance, Breagan Tebow, Deer Creek-Lamont 4-H sang “I’m a Champion”, Sarah Taylor, Pond Creek-Hunter 4-H recited a poem titled “State of Mind”, Jaicee Stinson, Pond Creek-Hunter 4-H sang “Shout to the Lord”, and Amber Felton, Wakita 4-H played a solo on her clarinet.   All the Individual acts received a Blue Ribbon.
 
In the Small Group Division Rebecca Wasson and Leea Harvey of the Wakita 4-H sang “Show Love” and Kelsea Bradley and Hannah Gibson of the Pond Creek-Hunter 4-H sang “I Miss You”.  Both Small Groups received Blue Ribbons.
 
In the Large Group Christina Houck, Rebecca Wasson, Alicen Campbell, Brandi Jo Baker and Leea Harvey presented a skit titled “Bazooka Bubblegum”, Madison Hembree, Gavin Dirham, Molly Blaser, Breagan Tebow, Reed Reynolds, Andrew McKee, Dovie Yarbrough and Sheldon Schneeberger of Deer Creek-Lamont 4-H presented an skit titled “County Fair”, and Mackenzie Golden, Lauren Fischer, JinYu Burnham, Bailey White, and Kierstin Miller presented “Hey Mickey”.  All three of the Large Group acts received Blue Ribbons.
 
Grant County can send 3 acts to the Northwest District 4-H Share-the-Fun contest to be held Saturday, December 8th at the Fairview Public School in Fairview, Oklahoma.  Acts selected to represent Grant County are Individual Act-Kierstin Miller, “Irish Dance”, Small Group-Rebecca Wasson and Leea Harvey,“Show Love”, and Large Group, Pond Creek-Hunter “Hey Mickey”.
 
Five to eight year olds can join Cloverbuds and participate in many of the 4-H events and activities.  Cloverbud activities are non-competitive and are not judged.  In the Cloverbud Division Dixie Evans, Wakita Cloverbud, presented a piano solo titled “Mrs. Murphy’s Rooftop”.  A Large Group act from the Wakita Cloverbuds titled “Cloverbuds’ Farm” was presented by Trenity Kerr, Addison Kerr, Dixie Evans, Alicia Zarate, Andrew Yunker, Ashton Essary, Hunter Biggs, Kourtney Horne, Ethan Campbell, Lukas Uttinger and Dalton Matthew.  All the Cloverbuds received a participation ribbon.
  Congratulations to all the 4-H members and Cloverbuds who worked hard to present their talent acts during the Grant County 4-H’ers Have Talent Show.

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HEALTH CENTER LOOKS AT GRANT COUNTY – The regular meeting of the Grant County Board of Commissioners was called to order at 9:04 p.m. with commissioners Jerry Shaffer and Cindy Bobbitt present. Chairman Max Hess joined the meeting at 9:07 a.m.

Also present were Grant County Clerk Debbie Kretchmar, Tim Starkey with Great Plains Health Center, Dr. Amy Holmes, Inez Stoltzfus, Larry Don Dewey, Korina Schneider, Ken Kiser’s recorder and Treasurer Penny Dowell.

After reviewing the minutes from the November 8, 2010 regular meeting and the November 8, 2010 special meeting, Bobbitt made a motion to approve the minutes. Shaffer seconded. All approved the motion.

There were no comments from the public.

Shaffer motioned to review payment of purchase orders and travel claims. Bobbitt seconded. All voted aye.

Shaffer motioned to drop down to Item D, a presentation by Tim Starkey with Great Plains Health Center. Starkey explained that the GPHC is partly federally-funded and was opened almost three years ago in Cherokee, which is located in Alfalfa County. The health center provides primary care for patients in that county. The center received a $2.8 million grant to remodel the former hospital in Cherokee, and the project is nearing completion. He is hoping to establish a similar center in Grant County.

Starkey said Dr. Amy Holmes is a scholar that serves a medically-underserved area, and that is why she came to Medford. Her commitment to Medford will end November 2011. Starkey proposed future use of her clinic for a health center in this area. The center will take MediCare, MedicAid and private insurance. The health center will make her clinic more stable and more viable when her service for Grant County is finished. An application to implement the health care center in Grant County is due by December, and notification of approval will be announced in August 2011.

The application must prove support from the community and indication that other healthcare facilities will work with the center. Starkey asked the commissioners to support the health center and said their support will be an added value to the application. Shaffer asked how many places Starkey has visited with in Grant County. Starkey said he visited with community members, the Medford Lions Club and Community Health Center in Wakita and has heard nothing but positive results. INTEGRIS has shown somewhat of a “competitive nature” with the center, but Starkey said he plans to sit down and talk to officials from the INTEGRIS facility in Enid because the intention of GPHC is not to compete with INTEGRIS but to complement their services and provide a service for Grant County where there is a need for members of the community. A perpetual grant for funding is possible. Starkey said he is 75 to 80 percent sure GPHC will qualify for a grant because there is a preference for sparsely-populated counties.

Hess asked what the likelihood of Dr. Holmes staying would be if the facility is approved. Holmes was not able to stay for the meeting, and Starkey said that topic has not been discussed between him and Holmes. Payment for services at the center will be based on a sliding-fee scale based on the federal poverty level. Statistics regarding income levels in Grant County will be included in the application.

Bobbitt motioned to approve a resolution in support of the clinic. Shaffer seconded. The resolution was passed unanimously.

Shaffer motioned to move back to Item A, approval of purchase orders and travel claims. Bobbitt seconded. The motion passed.

Bobbitt motioned to move to Item C to open bids for sale of a pull trailer in District 2. All voted aye. Two bids were received, one for $3,676 from Shane Schmidt of Caldwell, Kan. and one for $5,005 from Rich Donaldson of Medford. Bobbitt motioned to accept the bid from Donaldson. Shaffer seconded. The motion carried.

The board motioned for a short recess at 10:15 a.m. The meeting was reconvened at 10:29 a.m.

No transfers of appropriations were needed.

Hess motioned to review monthly officer reports from the assessor, election board, treasurer, court clerk, health department and county clerk, subject to audit. Shaffer seconded. The motion passed unanimously.

Commissioners considered a letter for application to request money for bridge projects in District 1. Hess motioned for approval; Bobbitt seconded. All voted aye.

Shaffer motioned and Bobbitt seconded to approve a Rural Economic Action Plan grant reimbursement for Hawley Fire Department. All voted aye.

Commissioners asked Kretchmar to write a memo asking officers if they are interested in having monthly officers meetings. An initial special meeting was set for 7:30 a.m. Monday, November 22. Hess motioned to approve the memo and the special meeting. Bobbitt seconded. All voted aye. The meetings must follow open meetings statutes, with agendas posted at the courthouse and published on the Web site and minutes taken and approved and published as set by statutes. Kretchmar asked if the commissioners would tell her what to put on the agenda. Bobbitt said the agenda would be set by officers and personnel as needs arise. The meetings will establish a line of communication between commissioners and officers.

There were no blanket purchase orders.

Under commissioner comments, Shaffer said last week he toured Kay County’s new jail south of Newkirk. He said the $17 million structure is a top-of-the-line facility.

Bobbitt said she has a truck in the shop which will cost $4,500 to replace the turbo charger, and the total repair charge will be about $8,000. She said last week she attended the Lamont Town Hall meeting, which went well. Lamont council members voted to join the county’s Hazardous Mitigation Plan, paying $2 per person based on the 2000 Census. She also requested to put the county’s STP plan on an upcoming agenda. In addition, she said she received a letter from the Department of Environmental Quality regarding issues within several municipalities. The public meeting will take place from 1 to 5 p.m. November 30 at the Civic Center in Medford. The letter said small communities are having trouble receiving information to meet requirements specified by the DEQ.

Hess said Nash will host a town meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday, November 16. He plans to attend to discuss Nash joining the county’s Hazardous Mitigation Plan. He also passed out a list of 2011 holidays for Circuit Engineering District 8 and discussed a funding application for the Oklahoma Department of Transportation.

No new business was discussed.

Shaffer motioned to adjourn at 11:35 a.m. Bobbitt seconded. Dewey asked if he could make a comment under new business. Commissioners said he could not comment unless the item was totally unforeseen before the agenda was posted. Dewey said his comments were about last week’s special meeting regarding Jefferson Park, which was not listed on the agenda and therefore was not eligible for comments by the public. Dewey said he thinks the way the meetings are set up discourages the public from making comments. Bobbitt explained that meetings are set up for commissioners to conduct county business. She suggested Dewey call the attorney general’s office regarding open meetings statutes. Shaffer said if Dewey had an emergency, they would take that into consideration, but it would be better to have the item on the agenda in order for the public to make comments on it. Bobbitt said Dewey can speak to the commissioners individually about his concerns. Dewey stayed after the meeting and spoke to commissioners individually regarding the upkeep of Jefferson Park.

Shaffer motioned again at 11:43 a.m. to adjourn. Bobbitt seconded. All voted aye.


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ESA, FAIRGROUNDS SALES TAX RESOLUTIONS TABLED FOR TIME BEING - The regular meeting of the Grant County Board of Commissioners was called to order at 9:03 a.m. Monday, November 08, 2010 with commissioners Max Hess, Jerry Shaffer and Cindy Bobbitt present. Also present were County Clerk Debbie Kretchmar, Treasurer Penny Dowell, Korina Schneider and Ken Kiser’s recorder.

Shaffer led the prayer, and Bobbitt led the flag salute.
Commissioners considered and approved the minutes from the November 1, 2010, regular meeting, as corrected.
Shaffer motioned to review payment of purchase orders and travel claims. All voted aye. Commissioners voted unanimously to approve payment of purchase orders and travel claims.

There were no transfers of appropriations.

Bobbitt motioned to drop down to Item H on the agenda, which was the consideration of sales tax resolution for fire departments, ambulances and emergency services association. Present for the agenda item were Sheriff Roland Hula, Todd Lohmann, Robert Moore, Myles Dershim, Chuck Tolle, Larry Cokeley, Sarah Holcomb.

Lohmann asked for the support of the commissioners on pursuing the resolution which calls for the continuation of a 1-cent perpetual sales tax to support the county’s emergency services. An election date would be set for January 11, 2011, if approved this week. If passed, the resolution would take effect May 1, 2011. The resolution was presented following a special meeting to discuss the option of adding the fairgrounds as an entity to the existing operations that receive a percentage of the tax. Shaffer said he does not want to see current sales tax for county taxpayers to go over the 1 percent tax already in effect. Hula said the sheriff’s department could save $600 per month that could go toward renovations at the fairgrounds. He said he supports renovations to the fairgrounds and believes the public would support a ¼-cent sales tax for 10 years to improve the fairgrounds buildings, which has been presented in a separate resolution. Shaffer asked to table the resolution for further review. Bobbitt seconded, and all voted aye. Hess said the resolution will be listed on next week’s agenda, and the extra week will give Assistant District Attorney Steven Young time to review the resolution. Tolle said he would like to see the two taxes as separate issues on a ballot. Lohmann said he would like to have the public decide on the issues, and the ESA members support a new tax for renovations for the fairgrounds.

Bobbitt motioned to return to Item D, Oklahoma Department of Transportation Letter of Choice for county bridge inspection contracts. Shaffer seconded. The motion passed. Shaffer motioned to recommend Circuit Engineering District 8 for inspections. Bobbitt seconded. The motion passed unanimously.

Bobbitt motioned to approve the allocation of the October Alcohol Beverage Tax, totaling $7,019.53. The allocations were made as follows: Pond Creek, $1,806.82; Medford, $2,363.37; Jefferson, $74.61; Renfrow, $32.26; Manchester, $209.72; Lamont, $937.68; Wakita, $846.94; Deer Creek, $296.43; Nash, $451.70.

A proclamation of Winter Weather Preparedness Day was approved by all three commissioners.

Commissioners considered a sales tax resolution for the Grant County Fairgrounds. The two resolutions being proposed call for either using 2/10 of the emergency services sales tax already in place for fairgrounds improvements or for a new ¼-cent sales tax designated specifically for the fairgrounds. Bobbitt motioned to table the issue for further review.  All voted aye.

There were no blanket purchase orders.

Under commissioners’ comments, Bobbitt said the fairgrounds fundraiser was successful. Earlier in the meeting, she said the fundraiser raised about $3,000 for fairgrounds renovations. She will be gone November 9 and 10 for a meeting in Oklahoma City.

Shaffer asked if anyone had spoken to Mike Burdick about attending the special meeting, scheduled for 6 p.m. November 8 at the fairgrounds in Pond Creek regarding making a motocross riding trail at Jefferson Park. He also said that ODOT had been checking the weights on the trucks leaving the county’s rock quarry, so he has let his employees know not to load them too heavy. He wants to either put scales on the loader truck or man the scale house to make sure the trucks are not overweight. He told Hess and Bobbitt to watch the weights of their trucks as well.

Hess said he may not be able to attend the special meeting at the fairgrounds regarding Jefferson Park because he has two city meetings in Medford and Lamont to attend. Shaffer said he would rather see Hess at the meeting about Jefferson Park. Hess said he would touch base with those who are supposed to attend the city meetings and tell them he needs to attend the special meeting instead. He also said that on the sales tax issue, he wants to see the people decide. He is in favor of placing two separate questions on the same ballot. Hess presented a check from Alfalfa County for use of the CMI machine.

The meeting was adjourned at 12:23 p.m.


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COUNTY WORKERS GET EXTRA DAY FOR CHRISTMAS - The regular meeting of the Board of Grant County Commissioners was called to order at 9:02 a.m. October 25, 2010, with board members Max Hess and Cindy Bobbitt present. Commissioner Jerry Shaffer was absent. Also present was County Clerk Debbie Kretchmar, Treasurer Penny Dowell, Grant County Excise Board members Melvin McFeeters, Arthur Green and Billy Joe Halcomb and Korina Schneider. Ken Kiser left his tape recorder at 9:04 a.m.

Bobbitt led the prayer, and Green led the flag salute.

After reviewing the minutes of the October 18, 2010, meeting, Bobbitt motioned to approve the minutes with corrections. The motion was approved.

Hess and Bobbitt approved October appropriations and transfers of appropriations.

Hess motioned to approve October payroll. Bobbitt seconded. The motion passed unanimously.

Bobbitt motioned to review purchase orders and travel claims. The motion passed. Commissioners Bobbitt and Hess voted to approve purchase orders and travel claims.

A crossing permit in District 1 for Union Valley was approved.
Commissioners also approved four crossing permits in District 1 for Alfalfa Electric Cooperative.

A contract with Attorney Mart Tisdal was renewed at a rate of $225 per hour.

Bobbitt motioned to approve the sale of a camper trailer by sealed bid. Hess and Bobbitt voted aye. The motion was approved.

Hess said Assistant District Attorney Steven Young informed him of a statute that allows an extra day off for county employees for Christmas. He advised instead of taking off Monday, January 3, 2011, as scheduled, for New Year’s Day, the county should take off Friday, December 31. Hess said he called the Association of County Commissioners of Oklahoma regarding the statute and retrieved a copy from ACCO, which he believes shows that taking January 3 off is sufficient. Hess said the change would affect the treasurer’s office because that office gets a lot of traffic at the end of the year. Dowell said she already has printed 3,000 copies of a notice that informs the public that the treasurer’s office will be closed January 3, as well as other holidays for Christmas. Dowell said if the change is made, she would ask that the county advertise the change in the newspaper for the next eight weeks, with the advertising being paid out of County General. Young has implied, according to Hess, that the county is in compliance now but will be out of compliance with the change after November 1. Bobbitt asked if more notices with the change can be printed if other employees will help stuff envelopes. Dowell said that would suffice. Bobbitt motioned that the courthouse will be closed December 23 and 24 and December 31, as required by statute. Hess seconded the motion. Both voted aye to pass the motion. The dates will be published in the newspaper.

Donnie Head, director of Circuit Engineering District 8, presented 10 programming resolutions for bridge projects in all districts. Rich Donaldson, executive assistant to the commissioners, reviewed the resolutions with the commissioners. Bobbitt motioned to approve the resolutions, and Hess seconded. The motion was approved.

Commissioners reviewed and approved monthly officer reports, subject to audit, from the treasurer and sheriff.
There were no comments from the public.

Bobbitt had no comments under commissioners’ comments.
The meeting was adjourned at 11:51 a.m.


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Unwanted Agricultural Pesticide Disposal - Oklahoma homeowners, agricultural producers, greenhouse and nursery operators, certified applicators and pesticide dealers can get rid of unwanted pesticides at four locations in November.

Collection times are 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at all locations: Nov. 9 at Alva Farmers COOP in Alva, Nov. 11 at Farmers Union COOP in Altus, Nov. 16 at Kay County Fairgrounds in Blackwell and Nov. 18 at Helena Chemical South of Coweta.

The collections will take only pesticides; no other types of hazardous waste such as oil, paint or antifreeze will be accepted. All pesticides will be taken, no matter the size. No questions will be asked of participants.

The intent of the collection service is not to prosecute participants for illegal management practices but to reduce potential health and environmental concerns by removing unwanted pesticides from storage.

There has been 24 pesticide collections since 2007 with a total of 518,588 pounds of pesticide material collected.

The program is funded by the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry, with additional support from the Oklahoma Agribusiness Retailers Association and the OSU Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources.

ODAFF has contracted with Clean Harbors, a licensed hazardous waste company, to collect and properly dispose of waste pesticides in Oklahoma.

Unwanted pesticides are those that are unusable as originally intended for a variety of reasons, including leftover pesticides, pesticides that are no longer registered in Oklahoma and pesticides that no longer have labels or are no longer identifiable.

There is no cost for the first 2,500 pounds of pesticides brought in by a participant. Anything more than 2,500 pounds will be charged to the participant at the rate of $1 per pound for all pesticides except those that are mercury based. The rate for mercury based pesticides is $2.22 per pound for disposal.

Clean Harbors will accept payment in the form of a check or credit card at the disposal site. Cash payments will not be accepted.

Homeowners, agricultural producers, applicators and greenhouse operators are not required to pre-register. Pesticide dealers are asked to pre-register with Clean Harbors through the OSU Pesticide Safety Education Program at http://pested.okstate.edu/unwanted.htm on the Internet.

Dealers are asked to pre-register because of the potential for large quantities of pesticides coming from multiple dealers or multiple locations. Pre-registration will help Clean Harbors know what will be needed on-site to effectively handle collection amounts.

For additional information and location maps, visit the OSU Pesticide Safety Education Program site on the Internet or contact Luper at 405-744-5808 or Jason Baker of ODAFF at 405-522-5993.


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OHCE Beginning Quilt Group Meeting - The next Oklahoma Home and Community Education (OHCE) Quilt group meeting will be Tuesday November 2 at 7:00pm.

During the November meeting group members will begin or continue working on the current project - the disappearing nine patch pattern. An example of the different cutting and sewing steps will be available. Shari Eulberg will demonstrate the current quilt block of the month pattern.

Anyone interested in quilting is invited to come to the meeting. Rotary cutting tools and sewing machines will be available. Accomplished quilters are also WELCOME!

For more information contact Robyn Rapp, Grant County Extension Educator Family & Consumer Sciences/4-H Youth Development at the Grant County OSU Cooperative Extension Office, 580-395-2134, or grant.oces@okstate.edu.


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WHO MAKES THE BEST CHILI AND COBBLER? - Grant County Fair Board Chili and Cobbler Cook-off is getting closer. The date is November 6, 5:30-7:30 at the Exhibit Building at the Grant County Fairgrounds in Pond Creek.

The contest will be People’s Choice. There will be a Champion Chili and Champion Cobbler in two divisions, Business and Individual. Chili and cobbler is to be prepared off site and brought to the fairgrounds by 5 p.m. on November 6th. For a small donation each person will be given a bowl to sample the different recipes then vote for their favorite chili and cobbler.

In addition to the cook-off there will be a silent and live auction of items donated. At this time a love seat, air hockey game, iPod, a Red Neck gift basket, OSU basket, and OU gift basket have been consigned. If you have items you would like to donate to this event you may contact Shirlene McKee, Grant County Fair Board member, at 580-532-6271 or 580-532-5048 to make arrangements for delivery or pickup. The fair board would like all items for the auctions to be at the fairgrounds between 3-6 p.m. on Friday, November 5.

Donations can be made to Grant County 4-H through the Oklahoma 4-H Foundation which is a 501.c.3 and receive a tax receipt. No funds or fees are taken out by the 4-H Foundation. These funds are then drawn out to pay for improvements by the fair board.

The fair board has identified three priority items for the use of funds collected at the cook-off and auction. Handicapped accessible restrooms, improving heating and air conditioning in the Exhibit Building and improving sound system in the livestock barns.


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PROOF OF ID MAY BE REQUIRED TO VOTE - Some Oklahoma voters will be required to show identification when they vote this year in a federal election, County Election Board Secretary Harvey Bush said today.

Voters who registered by mail will be asked for identification when they vote in a federal election for the first time, Bush said.  "This is required by a federal law called the Help America Vote Act."

Bush said that several forms of identification are acceptable, including:

        - a current photo identification
        - the voter identification card issued by the County
          Election Board when the voter registration was
          ap
proved
        - a government document that shows the voter’s name
          and address
         - a copy of a utility bill, bank statement, or paycheck
that shows the voter’s name and address.

"Election officials across Oklahoma encourage all voters to take identification with them when they go to vote this year," Bush said.

A voter who does not have any form of identification at the polls still will be able to vote, but the ballot will not be put in the voting device.  Instead, it will be sealed in a special envelope and kept separate until information provided by the voter can be verified.   Once verified at the County Election Board office, the ballot will be counted and included in the final election results, Bush said.

TIME RUNNING OUT TO VOTE BY ABSENTEE - Less than a week remains for registered voters in Grant County to apply for absentee ballots to be mailed to them for the November 2 General Election , County Election Board Secretary Harvey Bush said today.

Applications for absentee ballots must be in the hands of the County Election Board no later than 5 p.m. on Wednesday, October 27 , to be processed.

Any registered voter eligible to vote in the election may vote by absentee ballot without stating a reason, Bush said.  Absentee voters may apply in person at the County Election Board office or they may send their applications by mail, by fax, or by telegraph.

Voters also may apply for absentee ballots for the following reasons:
            -- Registered voters who are physically incapacitated and voters who care for physically incapacitated persons who cannot be left unattended may apply for absentee ballots only by mail, by fax, or by telegraph.
            -- Registered voters who are confined to nursing homes in the county may apply only by mail, by fax, or by telegraph.
            -- Military personnel, residents of Grant County living overseas and the spouses and dependents of each group are entitled to vote without being registered.  They may apply by mail, by e-mail, or by fax.

For more information on absentee voting, contact the County Election Board at 112 E. Guthrie, Medford, OK  73759 .  The telephone number is 580-395-2862. The County Election Board's fax number is 580-395-2603.

Information on absentee voting in Oklahoma also may be found on the Internet at www.elections.ok.gov.


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Grant County 4-H’ers Have Talent - Grant County 4-H’ers Have Talent (4-H Share-the-Fun) will be held Sunday, November 14, 2.m. in the Pond Creek-Hunter School Auditorium.

Grant County 4-H’ers Have Talent is an opportunity for 4-H members to perform their talent. You may play an instrument, sing, twirl, dance, or skits just to name a few. You may perform as an individual or in a group or both. Groups are divided into small groups (two to four people) and large groups (five or more people). You may participate in one of each, an individual, small group and large group.

Time limit is six minutes on stage performing with another four minutes to set up and take down props for a grand total of 10 minutes.

No props may be used that include straw, glitter or similar materials. These are very difficult to clean up. No practice on stage will be allowed before the contest begins. No food or drink is allowed in the auditorium.

A sound system will be available for accompaniment music in cassette tape or CD. A piano will be located at the front of the auditorium.

4-H’ers Have Talent (4-H Share-the-Fun) will be held Sunday, November 14, 2.m. in the Pond Creek-Hunter School Auditorium.

Grant County 4-H’ers Have Talent is an opportunity for 4-H members to perform their talent. You may play an instrument, sing, twirl, dance, or skits just to name a few. You may perform as an individual or in a group or both. Groups are divided into small groups (two to four people) and large groups (five or more people). You may participate in one of each, an individual, small group and large group.

Time limit is six minutes on stage performing with another four minutes to set up and take down props for a grand total of 10 minutes.

No props may be used that include straw, glitter or similar materials. These are very difficult to clean up. No practice on stage will be allowed before the contest begins. No food or drink is allowed in the auditorium.

A sound system will be available for accompaniment music in cassette tape or CD. A piano will be located at the front of the auditorium.

4 -H’ers Have Talent is an opportunity for 4-H members to perform their talent. You may play an instrument, sing, twirl, dance, or skits just to name a few. You may perform as an individual or in a group or both. Groups are divided into small groups (two to four people) and large groups (five or more people). You may participate in one of each, an individual, small group and large group.

Time limit is six minutes on stage performing with another four minutes to set up and take down props for a grand total of 10 minutes.

No props may be used that include straw, glitter or similar materials. These are very difficult to clean up. No practice on stage will be allowed before the contest begins. No food or drink is allowed in the auditorium.

A sound system will be available for accompaniment music in cassette tape or CD. A piano will be located at the front of the auditorium.

Please contact the Extension Office by Wednesday, November 10th with the name of act, type of act (musical, drama, novelty) and the names of each 4-H member in the act to be printed in the program.

The NW District 4-H Share-the-Fun contest will be Saturday, December 4 in Fairview. Grant County will send one individual, one small group and one large group to represent us.


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CHILI/COBBLER COOK-OFF TO HELP RAISE MONEY FOR FAIRGROUNDS - Area cooks are invited to participate in a Chili and Cobbler Cookoff on Saturday, November 6, 2010, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. at the Exhibit Building on the Grant County Fairgrounds in Pond Creek.

Chili and cobbler is to be prepared off site and brought to the cookoff by 5 p.m.  Recommended amount of chili would be a medium size crock pot and a 12 inch Dutch Oven for cobbler.

The contest will be People’s Choice.  Prizes will be a trophy for the Champion Chili and Champion Cobbler and the prestige that goes along with the title of Champion Chili Cook and Champion Cobbler Cook until next year.

For a $5 donation each person will receive a bowl to enjoy chili and cobbler.  Coffee, Tea, water, and fixin’s will be included.   Each person will also receive a ticket to vote for their favorite chili and cobbler after they have sampled all the different recipes.

In addition to the good food there will be a silent auction and a live auction all kinds of neat stuff.

Proceeds from the cookoff and auction will go towards much needed improvements at the Grant County Fairgrounds.  The fair board has made of list of projects that needs attention to improve and maintain the facilities.  The top three items being: handicapped accessibility of the buildings and restrooms, improve the heating and air conditioning in the Exhibit Building and kitchen area, and improve the sound system in the livestock barns and show ring.

This event is sponsored by the Grant County Fair Board with the help of our local FFA Chapters, 4-H Clubs, Oklahoma Home and Community Education (OHCE) members, many local businesses and other willing folks.

For more information contact or if you have items for the auction, contact any of the Grant County Fair Board members.  They are Shirlene McKee, Randy Czapansky, Shane Krittenbrink, Steve Stinson, Jim Blaser, Kirk Schuelein, Don Krejsek, Phil Ransom, and Kelly Childress.


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FALL FEST, SPEECH CONTEST DATE SET - Fall Fest is the name for the Grant County 4-H Speech Contest and Pumpkin Food Contest. This year Fall Fest will be Tuesday, October 26, 6:30 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall of the Methodist Church in Lamont.

Speech Contest

The Speech Contest is divided into three age groups. Juniors (ages 9-10 as of 1-1-2010), Intermediate (ages 11-12 as of 1-1-2010) and Seniors (ages 13 and over as of 1-1-2010).

Prepared Speech is for ages 9-12 and this is their first time to give a speech in this contest. Everyone in this division will give the same speech. A copy of the speech is available in the Extension Office.

Speech division is open to all three age groups. A speech is usually 2-5 minutes on a 4-H project. No props may be used for a speech.

Illustrated Presentation may be presented by an individual or a team. Props are used in this division which may include posters or ingredients for making a finished product. Illustrated presentations may take longer to complete than a speech.

Cloverbud Division. These are students ages 5-8 who are enrolled in one of the Cloverbud Clubs in Grant County. Time limit will be one minute. They may use one prop in their presentation.

Please contact the Extension Office by Friday, October 22 to register for the Speech Contest.

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OIL AND GAS LEASES TABLED – Attending the Oct. 4 meeting of the Board of Grant County Commissioners were Commission Chairman Max Hess and members Jerry Shaffer and Cindy Bobbitt. The meeting was called to order at 9:03 a.m. Also in attendance were County Clerk Debbie Kretchmar, Treasurer Penny Dowell and Korina Schneider. Ken Kiser left his tape recorder at 9:15 a.m.

Bobbitt opened the meeting with prayer, and Dowell led the flag salute.

The minutes of the Sept. 27 meeting were approved, with corrections regarding the wording of an oil and gas lease with SandRidge.

There were no comments from the public.

The board approved one transfer of appropriations.

Bobbitt motioned to review purchase orders and travel claims. Shaffer seconded. The motion was approved unanimously. Shaffer moved to approve purchase orders and travel claims. Hess seconded the motion. All voted aye.

A resolution to support the Bureau of Indian Affairs on Question 10 funding was approved.

A lease for SandRidge had not been returned. Hess motioned to table the item. Bobbitt seconded. All voted aye.

No action was taken on an oil and gas lease proposal from Armer & Quillen due to pending lease with SandRidge.

Commissioners discussed investment rates and options for County General and Highway funds. Dowell recommended to leave the funds where they are. No action was needed.

Blanket purchase orders were approved and signed.

Under commissioners’ comments, Bobbitt asked that the county’s Web site URL, www.grantcountyok.com, be added to the minutes.

Bobbitt motioned to adjourn the meeting at 10:24 a.m. Shaffer seconded. All voted aye. Dowell picked up Kiser’s tape recorder at the end of the meeting.


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NASH POLLING PLACE CHANGED – The polling place for Precinct 17 in Nash has been changed.

Beginning with the Nov. 2 General Election, the polling place will be in the Nash Fire Station Classroom, 115 N. Main St.

Voters in the precinct formerly voted in the Nash Lions Club Building.


newell riggs retirement
The most recent project for District 1 is a bridge reconstruction north of Medford. Crews started the project Sept. 20, and District 1 Commissioner Max Hess expects the construction to take a few weeks. The bridge is located about one mile west of county roads Johnston and 960.
 
jerry thomas cooking
D-3 Road Foreman Jerry Thomas cooks lunch at the retirement dinner.
jerry baby lane
District 3 Commissioner Jerry Shaffer with "future county employee" Lane Miller, 5-month-old son of D-3 truck driver CJ Miller.

ABSENTEE BALLOTS AVAILABLE FOR GENERAL ELECTION – Voters in Grant County who want to have absentee ballots mailed to them for the general election should apply now, Grant County Election Board Secretary Harvey Bush said today.  Although the County Election Board can accept applications for absentee ballots until 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 27, Bush urged voters who want to vote by absentee ballot to apply early. 
           
Absentee ballot application forms are available at the County Election Board office located at the Grant County Courthouse, 112 E. Guthrie, Medford, Rm. 101-A. The absentee ballot application forms also can be downloaded and printed from the Internet at www.elections.state.ok.us.

"At least two mail transactions must be made," Bush said. "The County Election Board must mail the ballots to the voter and the voter must return the voted ballots by mail."  Ballots must be in the hands of the County Election Board by 7 p.m. on election day in order to be counted.
           
Bush said that any registered voter may vote by absentee ballot in any election in which he or she is eligible to vote.  However, a voter must be registered and reside at an address within the geographical boundaries of a school district or a municipality to be eligible to vote in school district or municipal elections.  It is not necessary to give a reason---or excuse---for voting absentee.  "While anyone can vote absentee without giving a reason, the law still provides several excuses, and it is to the advantage of some voters to use one of them," Bush said.  By stating one of the following reasons on their applications, these voters can activate some special conditions that make it easier for them to use absentee ballots.  The reasons are:

      -- Voters who are physically incapacitated and voters who care for physically incapacitated persons who cannot be left unattended may vote absentee.  They may apply only by mail, by fax, or by telegraph.

      -- Voters who are confined to nursing homes in the county may vote absentee.  An Absentee Voting Board actually goes to the nursing home a few days before the election, sets up a small polling place and allows these persons to vote under circumstances similar to those at a regular precinct polling place. They may apply only by mail or by fax.

      -- Military personnel and residents of the county living overseas and the spouses and dependents of each group are eligible to vote absentee without being registered.  These voters may apply only by mail or by fax.  Military personnel should contact the Voting Service Officers in their units for application forms and additional information.  Residents of Oklahoma living overseas can obtain the same materials from any United States military installation and from United States Embassies and Consulates.  Military personnel and overseas citizens also can download and print the appropriate application form from the Internet at www.fvap.gov.


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BUDGET SIGNED, SHORTFALL CUSHIONED WITH MAJOR LAND LEASE – The Board of Grant County Commissioners called the Monday, September 27, 2010, meeting to order at 9 a.m. with Chairman Max Hess and members Cindy Bobbitt and Jerry Shaffer present.

Shaffer led the flag salute, and Bobbitt led the prayer. Also present were County Clerk Debbie Kretchmar, Buddy Carroll, Vicki Eggars and Korina Schneider. Treasurer Penny Dowell arrived at 9:05 a.m. Assessor Phillip McCoy arrived at 9:07 a.m. Ken Kiser arrived at 9:10 a.m.

After review, commissioners voted to approve the minutes from the September 20 meeting, with corrections regarding budget proposals and figures the commissioners asked Carroll to refigure, plus two typing errors.

There were no comments from the public.

Eggars from NODA presented documents for the Grant County Hazard Mitigation Plan. She said one commissioner should attend board meetings, specifically Hess, who serves as the emergency management director, but all commissioners are welcome to attend. Federal grants will cover $45,000, but the county will have to pay a little more than $15,000 for services. Public review is required and will be open for 30 days once approved. The county will be billed in smaller increments throughout the year, but the county will not be required to pay the grant funds until monies from the Federal Emergency Management Agency is received. The grant will cover three years, but Eggars estimated the plan will take about a year to approve. Shaffer motioned to approve. Bobbitt seconded. All voted aye.

Carroll said he did not prepare a proposal detailing last year’s use. He said he will turn presentations over to Dowell and Bobbitt, who prepared proposals. Bobbitt said the budget she was working on would leave a little more than $34,000 for emergencies. The NODA contract would already take $15,000 out of that account, which would leave less than $19,000 in surplus.  An additional $18,000 for FY 2011-2012 in utilities needs to be considered due to the lost funding from the Court Clerk.  Bobbitt said that funds would be very tight to cover other emergencies that might arise this year. She said 2012 will be the county’s toughest year, as far as the budget is concerned. Dowell presented her proposal and apologized for “lack of communication” last week. Dowell said she called each of the officers, since there obviously was a miscommunication, and she said everyone was supportive of cutting the budgets to build a cushion.  The sheriff cut his budget by $14,000. Dowell will pay the treasurer’s Web site expense of $2,000 out of the treasurer’s cash account. The county clerk cut $1,000 from her office’s travel account. The court Clerk cut an additional $500 out of travel. Everything else remained the same, according to Dowell’s proposal, with a remainder of a little more than $28,000 less $3,500 that accounts for longevity.  That amount did not include the $15,000 needed for the emergency management proposal discussed earlier.

Bobbitt highlighted the differences between the two proposals, which were in the treasurer’s, county clerk’s and assessor’s budgets. The difference is that Dowell’s budget will leave the county with an $9,000 cushion, and Bobbitt’s proposal will leave an $18,000 cushion.

Carroll said last year’s use tax totaled $126,000, but he only budgeted a conservative $91,000, so it’s possible more money may be available through use tax collections.
Bobbitt said either budget proposals are workable. Bobbitt motioned to approve Dowell’s proposal. Shaffer seconded, and the motion was approved unanimously. Hess said he appreciated everyone working together. “We’re going to trust you like we hope you are going to trust us,” Hess told Dowell, regarding her office and the other county offices.

Kiser left as the budget was being signed. He left his tape recorder. Carroll and McCoy also left the meeting.

Commissioners approved transfers of appropriations.
Shaffer moved to review purchase orders and travel claims. Bobbitt seconded. All voted aye. Shaffer motioned to approved purchase orders and travel claims. Bobbitt seconded. All voted aye.

Bobbitt motioned to jump to Item G on the agenda because Phillip York of SandRidge Energy was waiting to make a presentation regarding an oil lease on county property. York said he had heard the county was interested in leasing some county-owned property, and SandRidge is interested in leasing the property. York said SandRidge is making a multi-million investment in Grant County. Concerns brought up by Bobbitt were a salt water disposal well, which York said will not be constructed on the property, and a specific formation. “At this time, SandRidge would like to keep quiet where they are going, where they are drilling,” York said. Information will be released once drilling takes place. York said the company wants the choice between drilling horizontally and vertically, and the company will do what is best, depending on the site.
Bobbitt asked to place a term limit for shut-in wells on the contract. She also addressed the company’s request to use utilities available in the area. The contract specifies a three-year term, with the option to renew. York said if the county chooses to lease with SandRidge, the company will pay $150 per acre. The contract will include approximately 266 acres.
York said he would reword the contract for approval from the assistant district attorney. He also said he will add language in the contract to cover restoration and cleanup.

Bobbitt motioned for approval, pending approval with Steven Young, assistant district attorney. York said he will bring the county a check as soon as the contract is approved.

The commissioners motioned to move back to Item E on the agenda, which was the monthly report from the sheriff. The item was approved unanimously.

A resolution to renew the county’s contract with AT&T was approved unanimously.

There were no blanket purchase orders.

Under new business, Gaylon Stover addressed the commission regarding paint needed for the World War II tank on the courthouse lawn.

Under commissioners’ comments, Bobbitt said to be sure to keep watching the county’s Web site at www.grantcountyok.com.

Shaffer said Mike Burdick called regarding the Jefferson Park proposal, and the date of Monday, Nov. 8 is good for a public forum to discuss the issue.

The commissioners also scheduled a meeting for the Grant County Emergency Services Association for 6:30 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 14, at the Grant County Fairgrounds.

Shaffer said he is thankful that the budget is resolved. He thanked Hess for communicating the fact that everyone is working together. He said he is really concerned with establishing unity between the board and courthouse employees. He said Bobbitt was asked to refigure the budget, and he wasn’t sure where all the misunderstandings came from, but he has not had the feeling that Bobbitt is trying to take anything away from anyone. He hopes the hurdle they are trying to get over will make a substantial difference. It is the three commissioners who are responsible in the end.

Hess said he appreciated Shaffer’s remarks. Both Dowell and Bobbitt spent a lot of time working on the budget proposals. He thought when the commissioners left the courthouse last week that everyone was on the same page, but apparently everyone was not. “We’ve got to get along for the county’s sake, and I appreciate the effort … .” Just like the auditors, commissioners are documenting their time in order to show the state how much time and money is being spent but not paid for out of county general. “This is what we’re trying to show,” Hess said. He said the commissioners know they can take the commissioners’ salaries out of highway funds, but they are trying to document the fact that the county is unable to take salaries out of the highway fund so that the statute might be evaluated eventually, because it is obviously not working – for several counties.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:40 a.m.


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d-1 bridge

The most recent project for District 1 is a bridge reconstruction north of Medford. Crews started the project Sept. 20, and District 1 Commissioner Max Hess expects the construction to take a few weeks. The bridge is located about one mile west of county roads Johnston and 960.


COUNTY LOOKS AT TRIMMING BUDGET – The Grant County Board of Commissioners called the regular September 20, 2010, meeting to order at 9:11 a.m. with commissioners Max Hess, Jerry Shaffer and Cindy Bobbitt present.

Also present were County Clerk Debbie Kretchmar, Treasurer Penny Dowell, Court Clerk Deana Kilian, Buddy Carroll, Grant County Excise Board members Melvin McFeeters, Billy Joe Halcomb and Arthur Green, Korina Schneider and Ken Kiser’s tape recorder. Steve Winters, Dusty Bittle and Jerrica Lockwood arrived later.

Hess motioned to approve the minutes from the Sept. 13, 2010 meeting.

Under comments from the public, Dowell told Hess that the county budget needs to be approved as quickly as possible. Hess said Buddy Carroll was scheduled to talk about the budget during the meeting and that the commissioners would review the proposed budget.

Carroll discussed the proposed budget, which was $ 1,298,859.37. Requested was about $1,454,000. Requests exceed available funds by $155,108.16. Carroll reviewed budget requests from individual offices. He said there is enough funding to allow the requests that have been provided, with the exception of those that have never been provided before. The county sheriff requested about $30,000 more for part-time help to be in compliance with state mandates. District attorney requested about $5,000, up from last year’s request. Bobbitt said that account is reimbursable.
The treasurer requested about $800 additional for maintenance and operation for Web site service. The $155,000 shortfall was placed in the county commission budget. The county clerk requested an increase for maintenance and operations. Bobbitt clarified that the request was for KellPro services that have been paid out of the county clerk’s cash account in the past. Kretchmar said she could pay half from the county clerk cash account and half from county general. The court clerk’s budget was reduced by $500 in travel. The assessor’s proposed budget was reduced by $50.

Revaluation is reimbursable money from taxes generated in county.

General government (HC) requested last year was about $199,000 with a budget of $210,000. Spent was about $175,000.

Personal service area was not changed. Travel was reduced by $50. Maintenance and operations was reduced by $4,700. Capital outlay was reduced by about $5,000. Last year the account had $24,000 as a start figure, and about $13,000 was accessed from that account.

In capital improvement, the geothermal unit balance was retired, which left $7,000 in account. That amount is reserved for payment. Legal fees maintained a $10,000 carryover.
Requests were about $55,000 less than last year.
Requests for the county election board were down a little, Carroll said. Much of that money is reimbursed from the state.

Kretchmar presented the budget for insurance and benefits. She said they are about the same as last year.
The recording account was about the same as last year, as was the library account, which used all but $1.13 of last year’s budget.

The county’s geo-thermal unit has been paid off. The unit was costing approximately $40,000 per year.

Shaffer motioned to table the budget proposals until next week for review. Bobbitt seconded. All voted aye. Hess said there are issues with the fair barn and the jail that need to be considered. Hess said a bird got into the electrical wires or an electrical box during the weekend, and the jail will require some maintenance to repair the damage. Needed repairs to the fair barn and jail could affect the final budget.

Bobbitt motioned to approve September appropriations. Shaffer seconded. The motion was approved unanimously.

At 10:09 a.m., Bobbitt motioned to jump to Item E to open bids for graders in District 3. Hess motioned to table the bids for review. Shaffer seconded. All voted aye.

Bobbitt motioned for a recess at 11 a.m. so that Hess could attend a special meeting of the Grant County Board of Tax Roll Corrections.

The commission meeting was called back into session at 11:11 a.m. Bobbitt motioned to move back to Item C on the agenda. One transfer was approved.

Commissioners voted to review payment of purchase orders and travel claims. Bobbitt motioned to approve purchase orders and travel claims. Shaffer seconded. The motion was passed unanimously.

Shaffer moved to table an AT&T contract renewal until documentation can be received. Bobbitt seconded. All voted aye.

A resolution for requests to use the Oklahoma Department of Transportation revolving fund was passed with requests for a pickup, a semi-truck and a trailer, which may or may not be bought if the county is approved for funding.

Commissioners considered a lease proposal for county property from Armer & Quillen. A call was made to Jim Armer from the company. Hess asked Armer if his offer for $125 per acre was his “top dollar.” Armer said that was the most the company has paid for the nearly 10,000 acres the company is leasing now. Hess confirmed that nothing in the contract stipulated that the county would be responsible for any drilling costs. Bobbitt asked what formations the company is looking for. Armer said the company is planning on drilling four wells. Bobbitt asked if the company would be looking at constructing any salt water disposal wells. Armer said the company would not. He said the company is looking for oil not gas. Armer said the company already has leased ground in the same section as well as in surrounding areas. The section is county property 23-26-6. Shaffer and Bobbitt said they are not ready to approve the proposal. They both wanted to review the specifics of the property in more detail. Shaffer motioned to table the matter. Bobbitt seconded. All voted aye.

The board approved monthly officer reports, subject to audit.
Bobbitt motioned to approve special payroll for Steve Wilson. Shaffer seconded. All voted aye.

Shaffer moved to approve three blanket purchase orders. Hess seconded. All voted aye.

Under commissioner comments, Shaffer said he left a message for Mike Burdick, who is interested in leasing Jefferson Park to build a motocross track. Shaffer said he has not heard back from Burdick. Shaffer said some maintenance issues at the fairgrounds need to be addressed, and he hopes to set up a meeting in the near future to discuss the problems and the money needed to fix them.

Bobbitt said she will attend meetings for the Association of County Commissioners of Oklahoma and Circuit Engineering District 8 this week in Oklahoma City.

The board discussed setting up a meeting with area fire departments to talk about the emergency services sales tax. Bobbitt asked to place the item on the Sept. 27 agenda.
Hess said the sheriff will need to evaluate the air conditioning system at the jail. The sheriff requested that the county pay half the costs.

Bobbitt moved and Shaffer seconded to adjourn the meeting at 12:56 p.m.


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COUNTY WORKER THANKS COMMUNITY FOR SUPPORT – I would like to thank everyone who came to the Benefit Dinner to raise funds for my medical bills and prosthesis. Thank You: Bill Kemna, coordinator; Cindy Bobbitt, organizer; and Roland Schroeder, financial director for Middle OK 30446 Chapter of Thrivent Financial for Lutherans for the matching funds.

I would also like to thank the Grant County workers, Cheri Michael and the Pond Creek students for their volunteer work, Grant County FCS ladies for cakes, Kevin Stacy and the Lamont Fire Department for helping to clean up, area churches, friends and family for donations, food, volunteer help and time. Thank you Deer Creek-Lamont school administration and students for hosting the benefit, friends and family for hugs, calls, cards and good wishes.

Only God and the prayers of good people in good communities can change a bad circumstance into a good time.

Thank you … everyone!!!

Richard Metcalf, and family.


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COUNTY WANTS PUBLIC INPUT ON JEFFERSON PARK – The Grant County Board of Commissioners called the regular Monday meeting to order at 9:07 a.m. September 13, 2010 with Commission Chairman Max Hess and members Jerry Shaffer and Cindy Bobbitt present.

Also present were County Clerk Debbie Kretchmar, Treasurer Penny Dowell and Korina Schneider. Ken Kiser left his tape recorder. David Haynes arrived later.

Minutes from the Sept. 7 regular meeting were read and approved, with corrections, including grammatical corrections, noting that Ken Kiser left his tape recorder, a motion by Bobbitt to review purchase orders, the addition of the county’s web site address, www.grantcountyok.com, and a request for Kretchmar to write a letter for the commissioners. Hess asked to add that Election Board Secretary Harvey Bush came in to address the commission regarding E911 under new business.

Shaffer motioned to review purchase orders and travel claims. Bobbitt seconded. All voted aye.

Shaffer moved to approve purchase orders and travel claims. Bobbitt seconded. All voted aye.

Bobbitt motioned to approve transfers of appropriations. Hess asked to transfer $7,000.

Hess motioned to approve the allocations for the August Alcohol Beverage Tax totaling $10,838.62. The allocations were as follows: Pond Creek, $2,789.82; Medford, $3,649.20; Jefferson, $115.21; Renfrow, $49.82; Manchester, $323.82; Lamont, $1,447.85; Wakita, $1,307.73; Deer Creek, $457.71; Nash, $697.46. The motion was approved unanimously.

Commissioners signed July and August salary reimbursements for the election board secretary.
Crossing permits for KanOkla in Districts 1 and 2 were discussed and approved. The crossing permits totaled 53 in District 2 and more than 30 in District 1.

Crossing permits from the Town of Wakita for waterlines were not received. The item was tabled. Commissioners signed a permit approved last week.

Hess, Shaffer and Bobbitt voted to table a resolution/priority list to participate in the Oklahoma Department of Transportation Equipment Revolving Fund. The commissioners wanted to compile a list of possible equipment needed.

Commissioners tabled a lease proposal from Armer & Quillen on county property 23-26-6 for $125 an acre to research lease prices for land in that area.

There were no blanket purchase orders.

Under commissioner comments, Bobbitt had nothing.
Shaffer said he is still putting feelers out for work that needs to be done on the fairgrounds building. He is gathering estimates and has talked to four individuals about giving the county estimates for work that needs done.

Shaffer asked what should be the next step regarding a proposed project for Jefferson Park. Bobbitt said she thought the property could be leased and suggested maybe putting the property up for bids so the county might know if anyone is interested in leasing the property. Hess said a public forum would be necessary to give equal opportunity for discussion and possible leasing of the property. An item will be added to the next agenda to discuss a date to set a forum.

Hess thanked Shaffer for laying some rock, working on the roof and cleaning up around the fairgrounds barn. Hess said he has asked about any grants that might be available to upgrade the facility.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:42 a.m.


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ANNUAL MOCK TRIAL SET FOR SEPTEMBER 30 – This year’s mock trial, featuring Grant County officials and employees, has been set for 9 a.m. Thursday, September 30, 2010, in the District Court Room on the second floor of the Grant County Courthouse.

The annual mock trial is put on as an educational benefit to students in Grant County schools.

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DISTRICT 3 GOES OUT FOR BIDS ON GRADERS – Grant County Commissioners Max Hess, Jerry Shaffer and Cindy Bobbitt met at 10 a.m. Monday, August 30, 2010, for a special meeting in the Commissioner Board Room on the first floor of the Grant County Courthouse.

The commissioners voted unanimously to publish Notice to Bid for new graders in District 3.

The meeting was adjourned at 10:20 a.m.

The Notice to Bid can be viewed on the “Bid Notices” page of this Web site.

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BRIDGE MONIES TRANSFERRED, PAYROLL APPROVED – The Grant County Board of Commissioner convened the regular Monday, August 23, 2010, meeting at 9 a.m. with commissioners Max Hess, Jerry Shaffer and Cindy Bobbitt present. Others present were County Clerk Debbie Kretchmar and Korina Schneider. Ken Kiser left his tape recorder. David Haynes from Evans Construction in Ponca City joined the meeting after it started.

The commissioner voted to approve the minutes for the August 16, 2010, meeting, with corrections:

  1. Note that Ken Kiser did not attend the meeting but left his recorder in the meeting.

  2. Bobbitt moved to address Item D on the agenda

  3. Revision of paragraph regarding Sheriff Roland Hula’s presentation during the meeting

  4. Write out NRCS and EWP (Natural Resources Conservation Service and Emergency Watershed Project).

A motion was made and passed to approve August appropriations.

Bobbitt moved to approve transfers of appropriations. Shaffer seconded. The motion was passed unanimously. One transfer was approved.

After review and corrections, August payroll was approved unanimously. Assessor Phillip McCoy joined the meeting to discuss travel pay documentation.

Bobbitt motioned to review purchase orders and travel claims. Shaffer seconded. The motion passed unanimously.
Shaffer motioned to approve purchase orders and travel claims. Bobbitt seconded. All voted aye.

Bobbitt moved to sign Plan of Proposed Bridge Project BRO-127D(146)C in District 2 for Bridge 113. Shaffer seconded. The motion passed unanimously.

Commissioners voted unanimously to sign a resolution and affidavits to increase funding for Bridges 366 and 316 in District 3.

The board voted unanimously to sign transfer documents on completed bridges 366 and 316, moving funds from the CBRI 105 account to county accounts.

Bobbitt made the motion and Shaffer seconded to designate Jennifer Stacy as a receiving officer in the treasurer’s office and Carol Beggs as a receiving officer for the commissioners. All voted aye.

There were no blanket purchase orders to consider.
The board recessed the meeting at 11:13 a.m. for a short break and reconvened at 11:18 a.m.

No comments from the public were made.

Under commissioner comments:

Bobbitt said she will attend an ACCO board meeting and SIG/SIF board meeting Wednesday in Oklahoma City. The District 2 truck and trailer that recently was vandalized by fire has been taken to the shop for repairs. Estimates were under $5,000. A suspect has been arrested for the fires and currently is in Garfield County Jail.

Shaffer said he would like to have a meeting with all the officers. He said he still can’t understand the disturbance and turbulence between the county officers and commissioners. He said the commissioners have a job to do, and he hates the constant disturbance and conflicts currently happening. Hess and Bobbitt said they think a meeting would be a good idea. He said the county officers and commissioners need to work together to resolve issues. Bobbitt suggested meeting the fourth Monday of every month, starting at 1:30 p.m., Monday, September 27, 2010.

Hess had no comments.

Under new business, no items were addressed.

Bobbitt motioned to adjourn the meeting 11:36 a.m. Shaffer seconded. All voted aye.

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DAMAGE ASSESSED IN SHERIFF’S OFFICE – The Grant County Board of Commissioners opened the regular Monday meeting at 9:07 a.m. August 16, 2010, in the Commissioners Board Room on the first floor of the Grant County Courthouse.

Commissioner Cindy Bobbitt led the prayer, and Commissioner Jerry Shaffer led the flag salute.
Commissioner Max Hess acknowledged that the agenda was posted according to the Oklahoma Open Meeting Act.

Present were County Clerk Debbie Kretchmar and guests Treasurer Penny Dowell, Avery Inman and Korina Schneider. Ken Kiser entered the room before the meeting began, left his tape recorder and exited the room.

Sheriff Roland Hula, who was listed to discuss water problems in the basement of the jail and possible repairs, was delayed to the meeting due to county business.

Commissioners voted to review purchase orders and travel claims.

Hula entered the meeting, and commissioners voted to go back to the agenda item regarding his presentation. Hula said that during budget meetings he mentioned addressing decades-old problems in the jail. Molded clothing and other items had been cleaned out years ago, but the problem has gotten worse due to heavy rains during the last three or four years, and other items have been hauled off recently.

Hula inquired with “The Old Cellar Man,” which gave an estimate of $2,500 minimum, and $50 per foot for treatment. One hundred feet would be $5,000. Hula said the jail probably has a little more than 100 feet. The Old Cellar Man procedure is to drill holes in the wall and fill the voids behind the wall. Hula said the owner said when one hole is drilled, other areas may become weaker.

The owner of Nelson’s Waterproofing of Ponca City said he could not make any quotes until he looked at the damage. Hula said the owner came and looked at the damage, and his estimate was $11,400, with a guarantee of the system. Hula said the work is a little disruptive because the procedure would require trenches to be dug in the floor, and a water collection system would be installed below ground level and filled with concrete. The system will not be visible once it’s completed. Nelson’s also recommended an additional backup pump.

Bobbitt said she did a similar procedure on the basement of her home several years ago and has been pleased with the results.

Hula said the sheriff’s department does not have the funds to complete the project. He said he filled a dumpster recently with items that were so damaged they were almost beyond recognition. Some of those items included old county records, county evidence and old inmate clothing.

Hula also mentioned the possibility of putting guttering on the building and possibly installing a French drain.

Hula said windows at the Sheriff’s Department have been replaced. He said it took nearly three years for the Sheriff’s Department to save the money to replace the windows.

Hula said there also is some significant damage to the wood in the basement, and he wasn’t sure if insurance would cover the cost of replacement, but the damage should be evaluated. He invited the commissioners to look at the damage.

The sheriff said he will work on the outside of the building and lawn as best he can with the labor and manpower he has available to him, but his office does not have the funding to repair all the problems.

The commissioners, sheriff and county clerk walked to the Sheriff’s Department to evaluate the problems.

Following the sheriff’s presentation, Donnie Head with Circuit Engineering District 8 presented transfer documents on completed bridges.

Bobbitt motioned for approval to sign documents for District 1 and District 2 and table documents for District 3 until resolutions and affidavits are provided. Shaffer seconded. The motion was approved unanimously. Head said he will have the new documents for District 3 ready for next week’s regular meeting.

Under a separate agenda item, Head presented inspection cost claims and documents on FEMA bridges for all districts to sign. Bobbitt motioned to sign the documents. Shaffer seconded, and all voted aye.

Commissioners continued to review purchase orders and travel claims. Kretchmar left the meeting at 10:40 a.m.
Shaffer motioned to approve purchase orders and travel claims. Bobbitt seconded. Kretchmar returned to the meeting at 9:45 a.m.

Bobbitt motioned to approve monthly officer reports for the sheriff, election board, assessor, county clerk, court clerk, health department and treasurer – all subject to audit. Shaffer seconded. All voted aye.

Bobbitt said she recently was looking for documents in a cabinet in Executive Assistant Rich Donaldson’s office and noticed county employee files intermingled with other county files. Bobbitt suggested moving the employee files into a separate cabinet and moving that cabinet into a locked room. Bobbit said she looked upstairs to see if any filing cabinets were available but none were. Hess said he sees no problem with purchasing a new filing cabinet and moving the files. The funds to buy the cabinet and replace the lock on the door to the room where the files will be stored will come out of the county’s General Fund. Shaffer moved to purchase a filing cabinet and change the lock on the door where the cabinet will be housed. Bobbitt seconded. The motion passed unanimously.

Commissioners approved the disposal of equipment traded in from District 1. Hess made the motion. Shaffer seconded. The motion passed unanimously.

Bobbitt motioned to approve a shale contract for District 2 with Deresa Cambron. Shaffer seconded. All voted aye.
No blanket purchase orders were presented for approval.
There were no comments from the public.

Under commissioner comments, Bobbitt said she had been working in her district near Lamont, and vandals had set fire and damaged some equipment. A 2008 Mack Truck was set on fire. Vandals poured gas on all 10 tires on the truck and also on the fenders.  The tires burned, and the truck was damaged but was not completely engulfed with fire.  The break lines on a trailer also were burned. The truck was moved to Bobbitt’s house, two miles away, so further damage could not be done, but the trailer cannot be moved until it is fixed. More damage may be discovered on the truck and trailer once the insurance adjuster comes to evaluate it.

Bobbitt said Carol Beggs will be working for District 2 Secretary Jeri Donaldson for the next six weeks. Donaldson is recovering from a detached retina.

Shaffer said District 3 is changing life insurance policies for his employees. The change will not affect the cost of the insurance to the county.

Hess said his crews are working on projects in District 1.
Shaffer motioned to adjourn at 11:16 a.m., and the motion was passed unanimously.

Dowell picked up Kiser’s tape recorder at 11:27 a.m.

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COUNTY SPENT $37,000 ON LEGAL NOTICES – The Board of Grant County Commissioners has chosen an address of www.grantcountyok.com for a Web site that will provide countless benefits to Grant County residents.

All information on the Web site will be provided at no charge to the public. The site will encompass information from all county offices and also give the public instant access to meeting minutes, agendas and bid notices.

The site will cost the county $15 a year to be registered and $10 a month to stay active. KanOkla will host the Web site. Korina Schneider will build and maintain the Web site for $20 an hour.

The intent of the Web site is to provide the public – free of charge – with instant access to county information. The site potentially could save the county thousands of dollars in man hours, copying costs and legal publication fees in years to come.

Commissioner Cindy Bobbitt hopes the Web site will provide an even greater cost savings to the county than anticipated. She has asked the Association of County Commissioners of Oklahoma to put forward legislation to change the language regarding the publication of legal notices for counties.

At present, Oklahoma counties are bound by law to publish minutes and bid notices in a local legal publication, which can cost hundreds of dollars per week.

Bobbitt said because of big budget crunches that states, cities and counties are facing, she will move more aggressively toward promoting new wording of legislation regarding legal notices. The proposal will ask the Legislature to make it an option for counties to publish legal information to a county Web site, if one exists, and make it an option to also publish in a local newspaper, if funds are available or if the county desires to do so.

Bobbitt hopes that changing the wording will save counties tens of thousands of dollars in the future.

Grant County has spent $37,704.70 on legal publications during the last four years.

All monies were spent with the Medford Patriot-Star, Pond Creek Herald and Wakita Herald during the entire years of 2006, 2007, 2008 and all but one week of 2010. The county paid the same three publications for legal notices until June 30, 2009. The North Central Reporter published legal notices for the county from July 1, 2009, to January 7, 2010.

If legislation is approved next session, the county can save an average of nearly $10,000 a year and provide the public free access to legal notices through the Web site, which will cost less than $150 a year. Maintenance fees for the site should average between $1,000 and $3,000 a year.

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COUNTY WORKERS EARN SAFETY AWARDS - The Grant County Board of Commissioners called the July 26, 2010, meeting to order at 9:03 a.m. in the Commissioner Board Room on the first floor of the Grant County Courthouse. Present were commissioners Max Hess, Jerry Shaffer and Cindy Bobbitt.

Guests present were County Clerk Debbie Kretchmar, Treasurer Penny Dowell, Korina Schneider, Larry Don Dewey and Ken Kiser.

Commissioners reviewed the minutes from the July 12 and July 19 regular meetings, which were approved, as corrected.

The following county workers were presented with safety award certificates from their respective commissioners and $20 Wal-Mart gift cards provided by the Association of County Commissioners of Oklahoma:

d-1_safety
d-2_safety
d-3_safety
sheriff_safety
  1. District 1 – Donna Stepp, Johnny Smith, Jessie J. Vanhoozer.
  2. District 2 – Robert Moss, Steve Wilson. Richard Metcalf received a safety award but could not attend the presentation.
  3. District 3 – Jerry Thomas, Ferrell Morse, Cecil Hoar.
  4. Sheriff’s Department – Latasha Jennings.

Hess motioned to approve one transfer of appropriations for the assessor’s office ($500). The motion was approved unanimously.

Hess motioned to approve July payroll. All voted aye.

Bobbitt motioned at 9:49 a.m. to recess until 1 p.m. so the commissioners could attend a funeral.

The meeting was reconvened at 1:02 p.m. with commissioners Hess and Shaffer present. Bobbitt arrived a few minutes later. County Clerk Debbie Kretchmar and Korina Schneider were present; Treasurer Penny Dowell arrived later.

Hess entertained a motion to review purchase orders and travel claims. Shaffer seconded. Both voted aye.

Bobbitt motioned to approve purchase orders and travel claims. The motion was approved unanimously.

Commissioners reviewed a resolution to accept county road and bridge funding from CBRI 103 and CBRI 105, Senate Bill 2173, according to the resolution. Hess and Bobbitt agreed that the wording on the resolution was not correct and should read “HB 1288” instead of “Senate Bill 2173.” Hess called CED 8 Director Donnie Head to ask about the wording on the resolution. Head said the resolution should read “HB 1288.” Hess said the wording on the resolution would be changed to “HB 1288.” Chairman Hess initialed the change, and commissioners agreed unanimously to pass the resolution, which will be formally corrected by Executive Assistant Rich Donaldson.

Commissioners voted unanimously to dispose of a Liberty trailer in District 3. The trailer was bought July 18, 2007, from DCS Property Distribution for $5,000. District 3 sold the trailer for $7,500.54 to Tony Shaffer.

Kathy Aebi said the courthouse computer server, which is housed in the assessor’s office, should be on a wall with separate plug-ins and two separate breakers. Aebi said it would be nice to have three plug-ins with separate battery backups.

Commissioners advised Aebi to get estimates from local electricians.

Oklahoma Department of Transportation documents were signed for a 2010 John Deere 200D trackhoe in District 1. The lease purchase price for the trackhoe was $164,789.70 with monthly payments of $1,961.78.

An item on the agenda to discuss the “name” of the county Web site was tabled based on the wording of the agenda. Bobbitt thought the agenda should read “Web site address” instead of “name.”

Hess motioned to approve blanket purchase orders.

There were no comments from the public.

Under commissioner comments, Bobbitt commented on the National Association of Counties conference, which she attended last week. She said she received valuable information from the conference. She handed out booklets from the Office of Homeland Security and the 111th Congress. Bobbitt was awarded the 2009-10 Top Recruiter Award for recruiting 16 counties to join NACo in the last two years. She showed the commissioners a trophy she received for the award. She said Kay County Clerk Tammy Reese also attended the national convention in Reno, Nevada.

Shaffer said he visited briefly with officials from Warren CAT about a free program for surveying the rock quarry. He said he would like to look further into the program.
Hess said he met with Woods County officials regarding E-911 proposed addresses.

He said he talked with Assessor Phil McCoy, who said postal officials have contacted him about rural addresses. Hess said employees in the assessor’s office also have been calling the post office regarding addresses. Woods County officials are working with the postal service on reviewing every address in the county.

Under new business, there were no items.

A motion to adjourn was passed unanimously at 2:27 p.m.

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County Attractions
medford library pond creek library grant county historical society jefferson park ARM (national weather)
Archives
- 4-H Day at Oakwood Mall
- OHCE Beginning Quilt Group Meeting

- Commissioners table SandRidge offer

- SandRidge Proposal Still on Table
- Emergency Services, Fairgrounds Sales Tax Proposals go on 2011 Ballots
- Pamper Your Feet Lesson Dec. 9

- Commission Nixes Jefferson Park Motocross Proposal, Looks at Opening Courthouse After Hours

- Grant County 4-H'ers Have Talent

- Health Center Looks at Grant County

- ESA, Fairgrounds Sales Tax Resolutions Tabled for Time Being

- County Workers Get Extra Day for Christmas

- Unwanted Agricultural Pesticide Disposal

- OHCE Beginning Quilt Group Meeting

- Added Info for Chili/Cobbler Cook-Off
- Proof of ID May Be Required to Vote
- Absentee Ballots Available for Nov. 2 General Election

-Grant County 4-H'ers Have Talent

- Chili/Cobbler Cook-Off to Help Raise Money for Fairgrounds

- Fall Fest, Speech Contest Date Set

- Oil and Gas Leases Tabled

- Nash Polling Place Changed
- Oran Newell, Bill Riggs retirement
- Absentee Ballots Available for General Election
- Budget Signed, Shortfall Cushioned with Major Land Lease
- County Looks at Trimming Budget
- County Worker Thanks Community for Support

- County Wants Public Input on Jefferson Park
- Annual Mock Trial Set for September 30
- District 3 Goes Out for Bids on Graders (8/30/10)
- Bridge Monies Transferred, Payroll Approved (8/23/10)
- Damage Assessed in Sheriff's Office (8/16/10)

- County Spent $37,000 on Legal Notices
- County Workers Earn Safety Awards
 
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