The Okmulgee County Board of Commissioners met for their regular session on Wednesday, during which they discussed the miscalculation of fire department funds.
Commissioner Erik Zoellner opened the discussion by expressing his interest in returning the funds to the proper account, per the auditor’s recommendation. He stated that due to a “calculation error,” the monies from the fire tax that were collected in 2019 and 2020 were not appropriated correctly, in the amount of $85,631.99.
“There never was a set way of calculating this in terms of the percentage of this,” Assistant District Attorney (ADA) Carman Rainbolt ex- plained. He said the district attorney’s office reached out to the state auditor for advice on how to resolve the matter, but received no definitive instructions.
After an audit was conducted, and it was determined that there were some funds that were not allocated, Rainbolt stated that those funds were then placed into an account.
County Treasurer Vonna Lampkins stated her department has corrected the miscalculation, but are awaiting instructions on how to reimburse the other funds.
Rainbolt went on to say that at some point in the past, former commissioner Ron Ballard reached out to ADA Greg Stidham, who recommended the board write a letter to the fire department suggesting they create a fire board that would be in compliance with state statutes.
Fire board meetings have been held, however Rainbolt stated only one county department has named their appointee to the board. No agendas or meeting minutes are available from those meetings, he added.
Commissioner Zoellner requested copies of the aforementioned letter, which, according to ADA Rainbolt’s explanation, essentially states that the only thing impeding the release of funds is the establishment of a board in compliance with state statutes, and the submission of a resolution for approval by its members.
This conversation continued for several minutes, but ultimately no decision was made. The board voted to table the matter and gather more information.
At the meeting, the board also approved: Blanket Purchase Orders: District 1 to Cintas for uniforms as needed for $800; and to S&H auto for parts and supplies as needed for $1,000.
Employee Forms: There were two employee acknowledgments from the sheriff ’s office. Sheriff Rice added that one of the employees would be fulltime at the courthouse. “Where we’ve had them rotating into the field, this is going to be a more permanent person for the courthouse,” Sheriff Rice said to the board.
Private Property Agreements: District 1: Patrick StandingBear – cleanout of brush and debris; Lester Mitchell – bring ditch dirt onto property and John Landborn – stockpile chips; District 2: John McGuire – hauling of rock/asphalt material.
The board tabled the discussion regarding a Memorandum of Understanding with CREOKS until their next meeting.
The commissioners also approved a service agreement with a detention center in Craig County.
— Under New Business
Three resolutions were also approved – Use Tax for payment of abstract to Okmulgee Land & Title, $30; a payment of $12,800 (Use Tax) to Pennco for heating and air for courtroom; and an amendment to Resolution #2362, to zero out 911 Account, for $12,692.42.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:42 a.m.