By Conrad Dudderar
EL RENO – Canadian County crews will help the City of Piedmont with much-needed roadwork.
Action by Canadian County Commissioners came less than three weeks after Piedmont voters resoundingly rejected a road assessment proposal.
Canadian County Commissioners on Feb. 1 approved an interlocal agreement with the City of Piedmont for road improvements on 164th Street (AKA Washington Avenue) between Cemetery Road and Frisco Road and on Frisco Road between 192nd and Edmond Road.
The governing boards of Canadian County and the City of Piedmont “find that it is to the mutual benefit of the citizens of both the city and the county to enter into an agreement of mutual cooperation” for the roadwork,” according to the agreement.
These roads are in Piedmont city limits in the state or county highway system within Canadian County.
Piedmont is in District 1 County Commissioner Marc Hader’s district.
Lacey Dawson, Commissioner Hader’s first deputy, said District 1 crews will “rip and/or reclaim then compact problem spots on the road surface” along the two road sections that Piedmont city officials have identified.
Dawson, who filled in for Hader at Monday’s weekly commissioners’ meeting, made the motion to approve the agreement so county work forces can start.
And the repairs couldn’t come too soon.
“Piedmont’s assessment proposal did not pass last time so they’re needing some help,” Canadian County Commission Chairman Jack Stewart said.
Stewart was referring to an ill-fated Jan. 12 special election – which went down in flames.
Piedmont residents resoundingly opposed implementing a $28 monthly charge on customers’ utility bills for two years to fund about $1.6 million in road improvements.
The proposal failed by an 81.45% margin. The vote tally was 988 “no” and 225 “yes.”
After the election, Piedmont Mayor Kurt Mayabb said citizens do not believe the city’s administration used a $250,000 road equipment purchase as efficiently as they should have.
Mayabb said the City of Piedmont would continue to fix roads as the local budget allows.
City Manager Jason Orr noted the City of Piedmont receives no property taxes to pay for roadwork. The city also has few large retailers to generate sufficient sales tax revenues.
Chairman Stewart, the District 3 commissioner, scoffed at recent Facebook rumors that Canadian County Commissioners were going to “de-fund” the county’s juvenile center.
Chalk it up to more misinformation from unreliable sources being spread via social media.
County commissioners on Jan. 11 approved a $9,297,721.66 fiscal year 2021 budget for the Canadian County Children’s Justice Center. The budget increased 2.1% over FY20.
“They brought the budget to us and – without any input from us – we approved it,” said Stewart, of Yukon. “And it was more than the budget they had last year.
“How that relates to ‘de-funding’ it, I’m not sure. It’s kind of irritating that this fake stuff gets put out on social media.”
Canadian County’s juvenile center, 7905 E Hwy 66 – still has an ample reserve fund – totaling about $6.2 million – that may be used monthly to augment its two primary revenue sources, the .35% county sales tax and contracts.
In other business at its Feb. 1st meeting, Canadian County Commissioners:
- Tabled indefinitely a resolution declaring as abandoned 33 feet to the center of a section line right-of-way along the west boundary of Crimson Lake Estates phase 2 in El Reno.
- Approved a resolution allowing the Canadian County Children’s Justice Center to accept a $25 donation from the Knights of Columbus Ladies Auxiliary to help fulfill its mission.
Undersheriff Kevin Ward presented the weekly county jail report showing 215 inmates in custody, with 191 at Canadian County’s detention center and 24 in other county jails.