Bob Forrest Guest Writer
The Ada News
Pontotoc County commissioners were in the right place at the right time last week to secure earlier-than-expected funding for two bridge projects in the county.
Chairman Justin Roberts and commissioners Gary Starns and Danny Davis were in Oklahoma City for Wednesday’s Circuit Engineering District 4 meeting where they were awarded more than $1.2 million to cover 80 percent of the cost of construction for new bridges in District 1, which is represented by Starns, and District 2, represented by Davis.
“Four or five other counties didn’t get their projects prepared, and that freed up some money,” Davis said after Monday’s commission meeting. “They usually limit it to one (project) per county but we had both of ours ready to go.
“We should have a July or August letting (of bids), then it will be up to ODOT when we start,” he added. “It took all three of us going up there as a team. It’s pretty exciting to get two projects funded at 80 percent.”
A total of $614,775 of a total cost of $763,384 was awarded for construction of a new bridge to replace the one over Sandy Creek south of Vanoss in District 1. The county was given another $614,544 toward a total tab of $768,181 for construction of a new bridge on Cotton Creek east of Francis in District 2. Commissioners said construction on both projects should begin sometime this fall.
In other action Monday, commissioners:
• Approved $243,000 for the lease/purchase of a new road grader for District 3.
• Approved their annual expenditure of $2,400 to trappers who help control the beaver population within the county.
• Approved $4,300 for the purchase of a new stove for the Red Barn concession stand at the Agri-plex.
• Approved a proclamation declaring the period from May 6-12 “Oklahoma Home and Community Education Week.”
• Approved reimbursement of a claim from the sheriff’s office of $393.08 to replace a diamond earring misplaced during the booking of a prisoner at the Pontotoc County Detention Center.
“We can’t determine on the video what happened to (the earring),” Sheriff John Christian told commissioners. “We searched every other property bag and couldn’t find it.
“We run thousands of dollars in cash through there every week and we’ve never had a dollar come up missing,” he said. “I’m sure somebody just misplaced it.”