County eyes CARES funds

Federal emergency relief available due to COVID-related costs

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Canadian County Commissioners Marc Hader and Jack Stewart

By Conrad Dudderar
Senior Staff Writer

EL RENO – Canadian County Commissioners acted this week so the county can receive disaster relief funding due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The three-member commission, at their weekly meeting June 29, approved a federal funding certification to allow Canadian County “to request direct payment from the State of Oklahoma” for funds allocated to the state from the Coronavirus Relief Fund.

“This is just so that we can be reimbursed through the CARES funds for any proper purchase we’ve made in light of the coronavirus,” Canadian County Commission Chairman Marc Hader said.

The relief fund was created in March when Congress passed the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security) Act designed the stimulate the U.S. economy.

The federal legislation provides emergency assistance and health care response for individuals, families and businesses affected by the 2020 coronavirus pandemic.

Canadian County was among counties across Oklahoma under an emergency disaster declaration for more than two months due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Access to Canadian County government offices was restricted and many county employees worked from home during the extended shutdown.

Canadian County purchased personal protective equipment, including face masks and gloves, hand sanitizing stations, and thermometers, for use by the public and county employees.

Canadian County also hired a contractor to install Plexiglas dividers in several county offices and the administration office lobby to help reduce virus spread.

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ANY ‘EXTRA’
EXPENSES?

District 3 Canadian County Commissioner Jack Stewart encouraged other county officials to submit lists of any costs their departments incurred due to this public health crisis.
“If you’ve had any extra expense with COVID, Sen. (Paul) Rosino wants to help get us reimbursement,” Stewart said.

Rosino, an Oklahoma City Republican who represents Senate District 45, recently contacted Commissioner Stewart to ask whether Canadian County had any COVID-related losses.
“We all need to look hard at anything we’ve had that he’s willing to turn in for us,” Stewart advised county officers and department heads. “There may be more of a chance of that out of the sheriff’s office than about anywhere.”

In other business at their June 29 meeting, county commissioners approved:

• Confirming the nomination of Rick Cacini as trustee and Jim Crosby as alternate trustee representing the City of Yukon for the term July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2023 on the Oklahoma Emergency Management Authority (OEMA) Board of Trustees.

• A revised sales tax cash fund monthly reimbursement percentage rate for the Canadian County Children’s Justice Center for FY21. This must be done regularly to comply with an auditor’s requirement to ensure county sales tax proceeds are spent property, District 2 Commissioner David Anderson explained.

• Awarding a bid to Tractor Bob’s LLC for use of a trailer with loader, at no cost to Canadian County. In exchange for the trailer use, the company will receive free advertising at county events.

• Final plans for the replacement of a bridge on Waterloo Road over Wolf Creek in District 1. This is part of an Oklahoma Department of Transportation project.