Monday, May 14, 2018

County Commissioners Table Discussion for Re-Allocation of Road Funds

During the regular monthly meeting of the Sequoyah County Commissioners Monday morning, commissioners approved a contract renewal with the Oklahoma Cooperative Circuit Engineering Districts board, approved an updated Disaster Recovery Plan, and approved to replace a 16-year-old heating and air unit for $4,550 with a bid from Wright Electric.

In other new business, District 2 County Commissioner Steve Carter wanted to re-allocate the monthly distribution of county sales tax funds designated to each district for roads. Carter said that each district receives an equal 33 percent of the funds, but he said that after some research, he discovered that Districts 2 and 3 have about 80 percent of the roads and District 1 only has 19 percent. He suggested the funds be split 40-40-20, giving 40 percent of the funds to Districts 2 and 3 and 20 percent to District 1.

District 1 County Commissioner Ray Watts said the population is the same in each of the three districts, and if money is taken away from his district, he is concerned about loss of jobs.

“The county sales tax was voted in to take care of roads 33-33-33,” Watts said.

Board Chairman and District 2 County Commissioner Jim Rogers said he would like to visit with other counties to see how they handle a situation such as this and would like more time to discuss and review it. “I think we need to look at it deeper – is he (Watts) going to lose employees? It’s been the same way forever and ever. Let’s sit down and take a longer look at this thing,” Rogers said.

Carter said it’s all about fairness. “I’ve looked at it for seven years,” Carter said. “To me, it’s all about what you want to do for the people, what you want to do for your kids and grandkids.” 

A motion by Watts to table the re-allocation agenda item was approved 2-1.

Pam Cloud, Managing News Director

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