Monday, May 21, 2018

County Commissioners Again Table Road Allocations

During their weekly meeting Monday morning, the Sequoyah County Commissioners approved the purchase of a new Chevy Tahoe K9 unit for the Sequoyah County Sheriff’s department, at $47,336. Sheriff Larry Lane said half of the funds will come from the forfeiture account, with another $12,000 from the Cherokee nation. Commissioners also approved the lease purchase of a Ford 350 for the West Tenkiller Fire Department, valued at $30,122, and the 2011 Freightliner tanker truck for the Lee Creek Fire department.

In old business, commissioners once again voted to table the discussion and action to change the distribution percentage of monthly allocation of roads that are distributed to each district.

District 2 Commissioner Steve Carter once again made a motion that funds be allocated 40-40-20 instead of an equal 33-33-33 split, to more accurately reflect the number of roads in each district. Carter said the majority of the roads in the county, or 80 percent, fall within Districts 2 and 3, with District 1 having the fewest at approximately 20 percent of the total roads. He gave numbers of 363 roads for District 2, 303 for District 3 and 219 for District 1. District 1 Commissioner Ray Watts again made a motion to table the action. 

District 3 Commissioner and Chairman Jim Rogers said he had researched the topic, and found that in 1998, a ½ cent sales tax was voted in for roads with equal allocations and it has passed two times since then.

“One of the things we need to look at is the reconfiguration of our road mileage – the actual mileage,” Rogers said. “The area verses the population. We need to sit down and look at what the actual percentages would be. It wasn’t voted in by percentage of the district.”

Carter said it is not right and not fair that the two districts with the majority of the roads are getting the same allocation as the district with the fewest roads.

“None of us have enough money to do what we need to do,” Rogers said, adding that if they cut into the T2 money, Watts could possibly be looking at layoffs of up to four employees. “I just want to be fair about things.”

“If you want to make it better for your people, you’ll do this,” Carter said.

“I think we need to look at the numbers,” Watts said.

Rogers seconded Watts motion to table the discussion until more information is gained, and the motion passed 2-1, with Carter voting no.

In new business, commissioners approved a transfer of appropriations for the election board; approved fixed asset cards; approved disaster recovery plans for the treasurer’s office, court clerk and county clerk offices; and blanket purchase orders.

No action was taken to submit programming to add bridges to the bridge replacement program.

Pam Cloud, Managing News Director

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