OKLAHOMA CITY (Free Press) — The Oklahoma County Board of County Commissioners (BoCC) met on Monday morning with all Commissioners present.
In addition to honoring the Millwood Boys Basketball Team on their Class 3A State Championship, the BoCC approved a series of Memoranda of Understanding to provide School Resource Officers (SROs) at several local private schools.
The Board went on to choose to apply for a one-time allowance of $10 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds, and accepted state funds for intersection improvement at Luther Road and Britton Road.
After adjournment, the Commissioners reconvened as the Public Buildings Authority, and as trustees of that body, held a lopsided vote to accept the sale of the County-owned Krowse Building to the Oklahoma Military Department.
Marty Peercy reports Local government
The Krowse Building at 2101 NE 36th Street has been the home for the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office since the department vacated their offices at the County Detention Center (Jail) when the Oklahoma County Criminal Justice Authority (Jail Trust) took over operations of the Jail.
The site was considered ideal by many, especially the Sheriff’s Office, as the facility already served as a site for some Emergency Management equipment, and is central in the County, making it an ideal muster point during emergency situations.
It also already had hardened, secure rooms for storage of weapons and evidence without the county having to invest any more money for those necessities as a Sheriff’s headquarters.
Our report from 2020: Lease provides new Oklahoma County Sheriff’s facility outside Jail
At the time of the move, District 3 Commissioner Kevin Calvey balked at the idea of using the large building for the Sheriff’s Office, contending that the Oklahoma Military Department had expressed interest in buying the facility. However, there was no offer on the table for discussion by the Commissioners.
Now, two years later, the Board has approved 2-1 the sale of the Krowse Building to the Oklahoma Military Department for the price of $3 million and 5 acres of land.
The proceeds and land are to be held for the building of a new Sheriff’s Office facility.
District 1 Commissioner Carrie Blumert voted against the sale. Free Press reached out to the Commissioner’s staff via email for comment.
“The Krowse Building is an incredibly valuable asset for Oklahoma County. It is not a good use of taxpayer dollars to construct a new facility for the Sheriff’s office and emergency management department when we already have a facility perfectly suited for our current and future needs. Especially in the face of rising materials costs. While it’s a good deal for the state, it’s not a good deal for the county.”
Closing date for the contract is to be no later than May 6, 2022.
After discussion among the Policy and Governance Committee, composed of the Chief Deputies of each Commissioner, the advice given to the BoCC was to apply for the one-time allowance of $10 million from ARPA for revenue replacement.
The Final Rule on ARPA spending allows governments to claim a $10 million allotment to apply to revenue lost during the pandemic era.
The other option was to use an older calculation formula for revenue-loss, but the Final Rule from the treasury allows the simpler standard allowance of $10 million.
Plans for use of this money were not discussed at Monday’s meeting.
Surface Transportation Project (STP) Funds are a federal funding source for road improvements at the County level in Oklahoma. The funds rotate among the counties. This year, Oklahoma County is the recipient of those funds.
On Monday, the BoCC approved the signing of the Title Sheet for a project using those funds.
The project will be a major improvement of the intersection of Luther Road and Britton Road.
No timeline has been announced yet for the project.
In standard operating procedure, the Board approved Memoranda of Understanding with several local schools to provide Sheriff’s Deputies as School Resource Officers.
All three Commissioners voted Aye.
The schools approved are Oklahoma Christian School, Casady, Rosary Catholic School, and Christ the King Catholic School.
The highlight of Monday’s meeting was a celebration of the Millwood High School Boys Basketball Team.
Millwood recently won the Class 3A State Championship, the team’s 16th championship in school history. That ties them with Booker T. Washington High School with the most championships. Millwood also broke a record for tournament wins.
The team went viral for a video of one player saying, “Trust me,” while waiting for an inbound pass, then sinking the game winning shot.
The Board of County Commissioners will meet again on Monday, May 2 at 9:00 a.m.
Last Updated April 20, 2022, 7:40 PM by Brett Dickerson – Editor