County Commissioner

Monthly Archives: August 2015

 

The May flood is old news now but the affect on our road work was longer lasting. More that half of the 625 miles of roads in the Western District needed some degree of repair from grading to complete rock replacement.

 

Twenty of our 135 bridges in the District needed some work, mostly debris removal. There were 5 road closures, all but one was caused by tinhorn wash outs. The major closure was the bridge on Cross Road over Sandy Creek. That one costs us over $50,000 in manpower, equipment and materials to get it open again.

 

We have been working with the Federal Highway Administration and Oklahoma Department of Transportation to get reimbursed for the work we have done on clearing out debris and road and bridge repair, due to the flood. We have received notice that we will be approved for $175,644.26 for 7 of our 9 projects involving major collector roads.

 

We have had several meetings with FEMA to get funds for three categories of damage: debris removal, emergency repair and permanent work. It is too early to know how much money they will provide for our flood related damage.

 

The night of the flood, May 22, and the next morning, Forman Kenny Kinder, A.D. Fischer, Flint Runyon, Melvin Beeson, Mark Barefoot, Carl Mullins, and Brad Jones were on hand to help rescue folks with the front-end loaders and graders. Most of the District 3 crew was out Saturday morning clearing roads and making roads passable, several with little or no sleep.

 

The County Barn was used as a meeting place for area residents that had been flooded to provide initial information for help from FEMA. Debbie McDonald did an excellent job as our coordinator.

 

Because of all the flood damage, we are about 2 months behind getting started on oiling and chipping the 12 miles of roads we had planned for this summer. The road crew just started getting the mile of Bishop Road between Red Elk and Deyo Roads ready to oil and chip. The next road done will be Airport from Cache Road to the dead end. The latter is part of a partnered cooperative agreement between Comanche Nation, District 3 and the City of Cache.

 

The rest of this partnered agreement is the streets on the east side of the City of Cache. Because of the delay caused by the flooding, we are looking at the feasibility of contracting this portion out.

 

We are permitted under State Statute to provide assistance to the Public Schools in our District. We spread material on Indiahoma Public School’s playground. We removed dirt in the bar ditches at Cache Pubic School to allow the water to drain better along H Street. We hauled dirt to Chattanooga Public School’s ball diamond and recycled the street in front on the school.

 

I have been coordinating completion of the County budget for 2015-16 again this year. I have completed meetings with all elected officials and department heads to hear their budget requests and they totaled $10,411,001.55. We have a projected revenue of $8,719,500. To develop a balanced budget, I had to look at every possible area to make reductions without cutting workforce and required duties of county government. I expect to complete the process this month and have it ready to go before the Excise Board.

 

If you have questions or concerns, I can be contacted at don.hawthorne@comanchecounty.us or you may phone the Courthouse or County Barn and I will return your call.

 

You can access this report monthly on the county web site as well as the County Times. The official web site www.comanchecounty.us is maintained by the Comanche County Public Information Office.