By Joy Hampton
The Moore American
MOORE — Last week, Cleveland County commissioners approved a resolution as trustees of the Cleveland County Educational Facilities Authority to issue lease revenue bonds. The bonds, not to exceed $75 million, will provide funds to Moore Public Schools for construction and remodeling related to the recent general obligation bond passed by Moore voters. The county action will allow the school’s GO bonds to be issued sequentially, keeping ad valorem taxes from taking a giant leap and allowing the improvements to be constructed immediately.
Cleveland County commissioners and other elected county officials have been working on the budget for the new fiscal year that begins July 1. The public hearing over the budget is scheduled for May 13.
Crossroads Youth Services Executive Director Lisa Winters spoke to the County Budget Board on Monday in an attempt to convince county officials to continue a $200,000 funding payment to the Emergency Youth Shelter.
Crossroads is a nonprofit that administers the shelter. The state provides a sizable percentage of funding for the shelter. Additionally, Crossroads raises money from private donors. On Monday, the budget board eliminated the item from the county budget this year.
Commissioner Rusty Sullivan said his concern is that the county will lose the shelter and children will not be served.
“It is going to be a gut-wrenching decision what to do about that (loss of funding),” Winters said.
Winters said many programs will be affected if Crossroads loses all county funding. She asked budget board members to sit down with her board and talk.
“We cannot easily replace $200,000,” she said. “This is the only shelter of this kind in Cleveland County. It’s a shelter that we can all be proud of.”
Commissioner Rod Cleveland has led the charge to remove county funding as a budget line item.
“I’ve never heard one negative thing about the shelter,” Cleveland said.
He said he appreciates the work the shelter has done. Though the money designated for the shelter was removed as a line item in the county’s budget, the contract with Crossroads will be up for renewal at the end of June. At that time the county can negotiate the cost, Cleveland said.
Commissioner Darry Stacy said his first experience with the county budget process has been “extremely positive.”
“Cleveland County is headed in the right direction,” Stacy said. “I cannot be more proud of the other elected officials and how serious they take being stewards of the county’s money.”
The Budget Board met before and after the regular county commissioners meeting on Monday.
Renovations are under way on the south parking lot of the Cleveland County Courthouse. When the upgrade is completed, the parking lot will be secured to serve county employees, freeing up space in the north public parking lot, BOCC chair Cleveland said.
During construction, First Baptist Church is allowing county employees to use its overflow parking lot.
Commissioners said they are still cleaning up from last week’s torrential downpour. Stacy said many tinhorns in ditches are clogged and need to be cleaned out.
Nevertheless, Sullivan said he is grateful for the badly-needed rain.
Undersheriff Rhett Burnett reported 426 prisoners in the F. DeWayne Beggs Detention Center as of Monday. That new record high follows escalating high counts. Last week, 424 prisoners were in the jail. Of those prisoners, 117 are bound for thre Department of Corrections and 106 have already received judgment and sentencing, making them ready for transport.
In other county business, commissioners awarded bids for sod and for building materials and labor to construct two buildings for District 2. The sod bid was awarded to low bidder Allen Farms Inc. Also bidding were Canadian Valley Turf, Sioux Construction, Eason Sod Farms, Green Turf Sod and Bentley Turf Farms.
The D2 construction bid was awarded to low bidder JPL Construction for a total of $156,360 for both buildings. Also bidding were Turnage Construction Inc. $267,380, Apollo Building Systems Inc. $194,700, LG Construction Co. Inc. $254,145, Ray Shaw Metal Buildings $166,158, Silver Cliffe Construction Company $335,000, Diversified Construction $388,000 and McMorehead Construction $206,960.
Commissioners also approved a cash fund transfer of $250,000 from Highway Unrestricted M&O to Capital Outlay.
County commissioners approved cash flow appropriations to County Assessor’s Revolving $35, Bridge Capital Improvement $21, Cleveland County Justice Center $180,566, County Bridge and Road Improvement Fund $53,601, County Commissioners Building Fund $12, County Clerk’s Lien Fee $3,901, County Clerk’s Preservation Fee $24,637, County Health $6,425, Court Clerk Revolving Fund $12,977, District Attorney Incarceration Costs $1,669, Drug Court Revolving Fund Adult $2,026, County Fair Board $21,998, Highway Unrestricted $564,380, STOP Violence Against Women Grant $2,706, Sales Tax $629,884, County Sheriff Commissary $34,993, Sheriff Courthouse Security Service fee $4,310, County Sheriff Environmental Reward $23, County Sheriff Federal Share Revenue $4, County Sheriff Revolving $65,655, County Sheriff Service Fees $73,168, County Sheriff Jail Fund $8,355, and County Treasurer’s Certification Fee $5,680.
County commissioners approved the following blanket purchase orders:
· District 1 — Moyers Factory Warehouse $1,000
· District 2 — Bruckner’s Truck Sales $2,500, Jones Tire $500
· District 3 — The Farm Store $1,000, Occupational Health Centers $500, Locke Supply Co. $1,000
· Commissioners Office — The Norman Transcript $5,000
· Treasurer’s Office — LexisNexis Risk Data Management $2,660
· Fair Board — OPUBCO Communications $1,000
· Sheriff’s Office — Palace Auto Supply $1,000, Special OPS-Uniforms $150, W.W. Grainer Inc. $200, Lisa Marie Lewis $4,000
· Building Maintenance — Copelin’s Office Center $1,500
County commissioners approved purchase orders for: General Fund $758,088, Highway Fund $180,496, Health Fund $9,492, Sheriff Service Fee Fund $10,308, Sheriff Commissary Fund $4,206, Sheriff Revolving Fund $25,053, Treasurer Certification Fee Fund $338, First Choice Recovery Fund $275, County Clerk Preservation fee Fund $27,934 and Fair Board Fund $444.