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2020-6-10 Spec Meeting Minutes

For a printable version of the June 10, 2020 Special Meeting Agenda (which includes all content as listed below), click here. 

   June 10, 2020

The Board of County Commissioners of Creek County (BOCC) met in Special Session on Wednesday, June 10, 2020 at 1:00 p.m., date and time duly posted.

Item #1: Meeting was called to order at 1:01 p.m. by Chairman, Newt Stephens Jr. Roll Call Stephens present, Warner present, and Whitehouse present.

Item #2: Statement of compliance with open meetings act-Chairman.

Item #3: Motion was made by Stephens and seconded by Whitehouse to sign Resolution#2020-66 authorizing and directing the calling and holding of a special election in Creek County, Oklahoma, for the purpose of submitting to the registered, qualified voters of the county the question of levying and collecting a perpetual one-sixth of one percent (0.166%) sales tax for the following purpose: equal shares to all Creek County Fire Departments with their main station located in Creek County that maintain status of "Member of Good Standing" with Creek County Fire District Association. The collected sales tax monies shall be used for apparatus acquisitions or upgrade and maintenance for existing apparatus, equipment, safety gear, operations, planning, training or training related expenses, new building construction or improvements on existing facilities. Stephens stated we have a detailed resolution, in which we received language from the Fire District. The Fire Districts have sent in this request, I have had multiple meeting discussing the request. They provided guidelines and definition as to what is good standing. We currently have 15 fire departments; we have several that do not have gear and the money to provide the necessities they need. I am for this, but what to see proper training, so if they get equipment, they are not jeopardizing peoples health and wellness due to the lack of training. They have two years from the time they bought in to get trained. There was discussion of the types of purchases that would be made, Stephen stated Jana Thomas, Purchasing Agent and I have been working on this for a couple months, the departments will be following Title 19. Jana has prepared a training manual to provide to the departments. Warner asked Mortazavi if she was aware of the training manual, Mortazavi stated yes, it is a copy that we got from Wagoner County Clerk that she provided to her fire districts. She provides training as well for them. I hope that the departments will be recognize and be open to all the purchasing laws and requirements. I know they are volunteers, but at the end of the day the county will be held responsible. Warner stated I know that most other counties have the fire districts, I want to make sure we have the accountability. Warner asked Fisher if they have a defined procedure currently. Fisher stated they work with Payne County currently, as we receive partial sales tax money from there. We work with the County Clerk's Office and we have requisitioning and receiving officers as well with the fire department. There was discussion on who determines if a purchase is valid, Fisher stated that within his department the Chief reviews the purchase first and then gives permission to proceed. Warner asked what within the resolution stated that the monies cannot be used for salaries, it states that it can be used for operations and so can argue that salaries are operation. I am for all for this, but I want to make sure it's done right. My hopes were that this was put off until the 911 was ready, so that it could be ran together. This would provide a better selling point. Stephens stated that the 911 wasn't going to ready for another year or so, and the need is here. We tried this back in 2010 and it didn't get anywhere, there where cities upset about getting into their territories. We have to start somewhere and that somewhere is with this standing alone on ballot. There was discussion of what means the fire departments have now to be able to operate from fundraisers to holding bingo days. Fisher also discussed that times have changed; with the new regulations we cannot work on things like we did in the past. Now, things have to meet PA standards and that costs money. With the 2012 grants that was received, that helped and hurt us. A lot of us received new equipment and now it's coming time to maintain it and some are struggling to do so. There was discussion of the possibility of this not passing and how it could jeopardize the 911 vote later. Warner stated as a Board we cannot be for or against this, but as individuals we can. And I hope that you will let us help inform the community. Fisher explained the ways they are going to advertise this to the voters. We will run ads, use Facebook and be out in the communities handing out information. Warner asked if they had any numbers as to what this may contribute to the districts, Fisher stated that it would be roughly $1 million a year, $68,000.00 per station yearly and approximately $5-6,000.00 per month. It will be a game changer for some. Stephens stated that there are a lot of departments that are paying for things as simple as fuel out of their own pockets and we have to do better for our community. Whitehouse stated that he agreed, we are in need of this within the rural areas. Vote as follows: Stephens - Aye, Warner - Aye, Whitehouse - Aye.

Adjournment: Motion was made by Stephens and seconded by Warner at 1:28 p.m. to adjourn. Vote as follows: Stephens - Aye, Warner - Aye, Whitehouse - Aye.