County District 3 finishes open-air garage

Hosts ribbon cutting for new heavy equipment building

Canadian County District 3 Commissioner Tracey Rider (holding the oversized scissors) is joined by District 3 foreman Dean Walker and other district personnel for an El Reno Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting ceremony at her new open-air garage. (Photo by Conrad Dudderar)

By Conrad Dudderar
Staff Writer

EL RENO – A first-year Canadian County elected official is quite pleased with a new “open-air” garage constructed at her district yard.

So much so, District 3 Commissioner Tracey Rider welcomed the El Reno Chamber of Commerce for a ribbon cutting ceremony Aug. 14 at the recently completed 70-foot by 225-foot heavy equipment building.

Robinson Bros. Construction of El Reno has completed the $273,000 structure behind the District 3 shop at 1205 N Calumet Road. Work began in February.

“He did a great job,” Commissioner Rider said of the contractor. “He was the only place we found that was willing to use the steel that we had.

“I’m glad that we found a use for the steel.”

Rider has been Canadian County’s District 3 commissioner since November 2022, when she succeeded new District 18 State Sen. Jack Stewart (R-Yukon).

“Previously, none of our expensive equipment was sheltered,” said Rider, a former El Reno City Council member. “We wanted to provide a place to protect our investment.”

During her first year in county office, Rider knew she’d be buying new high-priced road equipment to be housed at the District 3 yard.

Her District 3 crew members have found good use of the open-air garage.

“We wanted to get this built to provide them some new equipment and a place to store – and take care of – what we have,” Rider added.

“We have our water trucks, semis, tractors, mowers, track hoes, and belly dump trailers.”

The bays are 25 feet wide and 35 feet deep. Two are “drive-through” ways with a metal wall.



District 3’s new open-air garage features a wash bay on the north end to clean the heavy machinery.

A separator also has been installed to separate oil and water when crews wash the equipment – thus protecting nearby creeks.

“Before, they were just washing onto the ground,” Rider said. “It’s now environmentally safe.”

This project is not quite finished. Canadian County Commissioners, at their July 31st meeting, approved seeking bids from contractors to provide electric service to the new District 3 garage.

“I’m really proud of this crew,” Commissioner Rider said. “They are all going to ‘Roads Scholar’ training and additional training to obtain the best knowledge to take care of District 3’s roads.”

District 3 is the last of Canadian County’s three districts to have its own equipment building.

Plans call for a new shop with an attached grade to be built at the District 3 yard. The current shop was constructed in 1956.