In a late October meeting last year, a representative from East Central Electric told the Okmulgee Board of County Commissioners of their plans to expand their ecoLink service to surrounding areas.
On Monday, ecoLink Field Operations Manager Rick McElhannon let the board know that they’re ready to proceed with those plans, beginning with a fiberoptic build in Morris and asked what the commissioners would need to move forward.
“We have the plans. I just need to know the procedure. How do we need to proceed, as far as road easements?” Miller asked.
Okmulgee County Assistant District At- torney Greg Stidham told Miller that he would need to submit all maps, designs, and other plans to the board. Resolutions will need to be made to grant easements across the areas specified on the map.
Next on the agenda, Craig Churchill of the Joshua Coal Co. asked the board for permission to update his mining permit to comply with federal regulations.
Churchill shared his frustration with having to change his state mining permit to a federal one. He said that the U.S. Supreme Court’s McGirt ruling requires him to fill out laborious additional paperwork.
ADA Stidham asked Churchill what he needed from the county to comply with the federal regulations since the Oklahoma Department of Mines has nothing to do with the issue.
Churchill said he needed a clearance letter that would allow him to mine within five feet of a county right-ofway. He gave his contact information to the board, and Commissioner David Walker said he would reach out to him.
— Also approved at the meeting: • Blanket Purchase Order for District 1: S&H Auto for $500
• Resolution to pay DO Construction
• Lease/approval for the Nuyaka Fire Department (truck bid was approved during last week’s meeting) Commissioner Erik Zoellner proposed “proportionally dividing” the CBRI 105 account funds to be used for roads and bridges. Commissioner Walker said that was what those funds were designed for and this move allows them to be used without the passing of a resolution.
Next, Commissioner Zoellner presented a resolution that addressed some concerns about the recent county payroll changes. Zoellner said that he wanted to ensure the change “does not harm any of our employees.” With the payroll change, county employees will be paid twice a month, beginning on April 15.
Later in the meeting, the board approved an amendment to the scheduled meetings for the year. There was a meeting incorrectly scheduled for Good Friday.
Before going into an executive session, the board heard the weekly report from Okmulgee County Emergency Management Director Jeff Moore. He talked about working with local officials to provide a water buffalo to the Beggs area and helping the OCCJA with a grant.
His full report can be found in this edition.