Jackson County Commissioners met twice this past week, once in regular session, and again for a special session.
Those present were Chairman Marty Clinton, Vice Chairman Anthony Fixico, and member Cary Carrell. Also present were Sheriff Roger LeVick, County Treasurer Renee Howard and County Clerk Christi Hair.
During the regular session, commissioners approved reports for the month of November, as well as the minutes from the last meeting. They also approved blanket purchase orders.
The commissioners then approved supplemental appropriations for the month of November as follows: Sheriff service fees of $1,415, County Assessor fees revolving fund of $289, drug court for $4,201, highway for $1,364.30, and EMPG-08 for $204.
They also declared equipment for District #3 junked. Commissioner Carrell explained that the title lists the equipment as a 1979 1-ton pickup; therefore that change was made on the paperwork. He further explained the vehicle had been stolen. When it was found, it had been buried and was no longer in working order. Parts of the vehicle were moved to use for repairs made to other vehicles. A motion was made by Carrell and seconded by Fixico to approve the request to declare the following equipment as junked: State ID=D301-0007 Ser.#-CCL339V118977 Item- 1979 1-Ton Pickup.
There was no new business, and claims were approved.
Commissioners then held a special meeting to discuss and possible take action on the operation of the Jackson County Expo Center. Present were Chairman Marty Clinton, Vice Chairman Anthony Fixico, member Cary Carrell, County Clerk Christi Hair, District Attorney John Wampler, public finance authority members Robin Booker, Robert Preston, Lee Doughty, Gary Beach, Brad Pryor, and legal counsel Rick Vernon.
Clinton stated that he had been approached by some Ag teachers in the county with a request for the Board of Commissioners to take over the management of the Expo Center. He said that he was told by these teachers that they ahd received commitments from various businesses and individuals for donations over the next 10 years to help with the funding. These donations, together with the existing funds, would be enough to operate the Expo Center for several year. He also stated that the Economic Community Development Board may be able to submit some funds as well. If further funds are needed at a later date, there could be a possibility of budgeting for the necessary funds from the general account.
Commissioner Clinton further explained that in order for this to be a viable option, the Commissioners would have to receive the existing funds. He further explained that the building is beginning to need repairs and would need funds available for that as well.
The Public Finance Authority discussed the existing funds and questioned how they would operate if they transfer all the funds to the Commissioners. They discussed the fact that there are bills which will need to be paid, such as the annual audit expenses and the Western Oklahoma Sate College dorm project. Gary Beach explained that the Public Finance Authority acted as a pass-thru agency for the WOSC project. Counsel, Rick Vernon, explained that although there should no longer be a need for the Public Finance Authority to have any involvement in the WOSC project, more research is needed before a definitive answer could be given. He further explained that if there are no funds being dispersed, there may not be a need for an audit. Before he would recommend the transfer of any funds he would need to research and clarify how much would be needed for further expenses.
There was further discussion about the cost effectiveness of management by the Board of Commissioners. County employees could be used for maintenance and some repairs because it would be county owned and managed property.
After the further discussion on these matters, the Public Finance Authority voted to let counsel do the needed research to make an informed decision about transferring the management of the Expo Center, as well as the necessary funds, to the Board of Commissioners.