The Oklahoma County Commissioners entered a lease agreement Wednesday that will provide a new Sheriff’s facility for its headquarters separate from the Jail.
After months of minor debate and a request for information regarding other potential sites for the Sheriff’s Office, the Board of County Commissioners voted Wednesday to approve a lease between the Public Buildings Authority and the Sheriff’s Office for the Krowse building in a 2-1 vote.
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District 3 Commissioner Kevin Calvey alone voted “no.”
Free Press reached out to Calvey’s office for comment, but as of press time had received no response.
The Krowse Building has been discussed as the future home of the Sheriff’s Office for some time.
Calvey expressed hesitation throughout the last several months, contending that the Oklahoma Military Department had expressed interest in purchasing the property.
The lease approved by the BoCC Wednesday is for 23,000 square feet of the Krowse building, comprising the first floor at 17,000 square feet, and half of the basement at 6,000 square feet.
The lease agreement entered into by the BoCC on behalf of the Sheriff’s Office lasts from May 1, 2020 to June 30, 2020 to finish off the fiscal year ending June 30. The rent for that term is $25,801.87 per month.
The next fiscal year lease has not been publicly discussed.
“We appreciate the efforts of the Board of County Commissioners working as the Public Buildings Authority during this almost year-long process,” said Sheriff’s Public Information Officer Mark Myers by phone.
“We look forward to working with the Trust (Criminal Justice Authority) under this physical separation of the Jail and the Sheriff’s Office, with the Sheriff serving as a Trustee.”
“[The move] is a little bittersweet, since the Sheriff and the Jail have been together since the beginning,” Myers continued. “But, we understand the needs of the Trust and hope they can find the proper revenue to fund the jail properly, which is what we’ve always wanted.”
“We’ve always thought the Krowse Building was a great location for our purposes, as well as having extra space for emergency use by other county entities. While this took longer than hoped for, we look forward,” said Myers.
District One Commissioner Carrie Blumert voted in favor of the lease.
Reached via email, Blumert said, “After exploring other options, I am relieved we have found a suitable and affordable location for our Sheriff and his employees to relocate to.”
“In the county-owned Krowse Building, the Sheriff will be able to focus completely on law enforcement with adequate space and an ideal location in the community,” said Blumert. “We are now one step closer to transitioning the Jail Trust into the detention center.”
Mental Health Month
In other business, the BoCC approved a resolution declaring May “Mental Health Month” in Oklahoma County.
The resolution, brought by District 1 Commissioner Carrie Blumert, was approved unanimously.
Blumert read the resolution aloud, closing with, “Be it further resolved that the Oklahoma County Board of County Commissioners calls upon all citizens, government agencies, public and private institutions, businesses and schools in Oklahoma County to commit to increasing awareness and understanding of mental health, the steps our citizens can take to protect their mental health, and the need for appropriate and accessible services for all people with mental health conditions.”
The Board went on to approve the lighting of the front of the County Annex building in Green for Mental Health Month.
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