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Monday, the Oklahoma County Board of County Commissioners approved a two-year-long plumbing project for $1.4 million, as well as allowing the County Finance Authority to incur indebtedness up to $6 million for a Bethany Public Schools project. 

During the meeting, District 2 Commissioner Kevin Calvey took the opportunity to question the Community Cares Foundation on their use of $1.5 million in CARES funds.

Community Cares

The Community Cares Foundation, the agency that oversees the use of $1.5 million in CARES Act Funds from the county to provide mortgage and rental assistance to people affected by COVID in Oklahoma County, gave a brief presentation to the Board before being asked a series of questions by Commissioner Calvey.

Calvey, who readers will remember spearheaded the allocation of $34 million in CARES Act Funds to the Jail Trust, asked the representative of the Foundation if they thought it was possible to spend all $1.5 million by the December 31st deadline. 

He pointed out that the federal moratorium on evictions might last too long for the Foundation to help many people. Katie Fry, representing the Foundation, explained that the moratorium has simply pushed the problem further along, rather than ameliorating the issue. She stated that they expect to spend the entirety of the allocated money before the deadline. 

Calvey asked if they were prepared to return any of the money that they haven’t used by the deadline. She stated that they were, but they don’t expect to have any funds left over.

Community Cares Foundation then asked and was granted permission to hang fliers in the Courthouse and Annex to advertise their program. Flier hanging must be approved by the Board of County Commissioners in a recognized agenda item.

Plumbing

An agreement between Miller-Tippens Construction Company and the Board of County Commissioners (BoCC) was approved on Monday by the Board. The project will replace the plumbing in the 52 year old County Courthouse Annex building, and will cost approximately $1,484,000. The project is expected to take two years.

At the end of the project, the restrooms in the Annex will be remodeled, according to Facilities Director Keith Monroe. The Department of Labor will have to approve and oversee part of the project, as the pipes to be replaced were spray coated with asbestos years ago.

Bethany Schools

The BoCC approved a request from the Oklahoma County Finance Authority to incur indebtedness in an amount not to exceed $6,000,000. This will allow the Finance Authority to offer a line of credit to Bethany Public Schools for capital improvement projects while paying back the money with bond funds.

Drew Eichelberger, Superintendent of Bethany Public Schools, explained the projects to be completed using this money. First will be a two-storey storm shelter large enough to also serve as six new classrooms. The second project will connect the high school and junior high to provide more security.

District 2 Commissioner Brian Maughan congratulated the citizens of Bethany for moving forward on the project.

The Board of County Commissioners meets again on November 2 at 9:00 a.m.