Stillwater News Press

Local News

September 10, 2012

Payne County commissioners OK road study

STILLWATER, Okla. — Payne County commissioners moved forward with a road study to help determine how the money for road improvements from the county’s 3/8 cent sales tax is divided between districts 1 and 3.

The county received only one proposal after advertising a request for road-study proposals in August.

Stillwater engineer Jimmy W. Hill’s proposal said he could start work two weeks after receiving a contract. He could complete the study in 90 days. The study will cost $42,500.

The road study will include paved and unpaved roads as well as bridges in districts 1 and 3. It will assign grades to the roads based on condition, erosion and number of homes per mile, according to study criteria.

District 1 Commissioner Zach Cavett and District 3 Commissioner Jim Arthur will select five roads in their district for seven-day vehicle count, according to the criteria.

Cavett and Arthur will purchase traffic-count equipment that can determine the types of vehicles that use the road as well as traffic counts. Each machine costs approximately $1,700. Each district will be able to use the equipment after the road-study is completed, Arthur said.

Commissioners voted unanimously to award the contract to Hill.

In May, commissioners voted 2-1 to give a larger share of road tax money to District 3. The money had been split between the road districts. The change gives District 3 65 percent of the money and District 1 35 percent.

Arthur and District 2 Commissioner Gloria Hesser voted for the change, while Cavett voted against it. District 2 doesn’t have county roads as its boundaries are within the Stillwater city limits.

Residents and officials from Cavett’s district protested the change in late May, but the decision wasn’t reversed.

In June, the Payne County Budget Board and county commissioners reached a compromise, which splits 70 percent of the sales tax money between the districts. The remaining 30 percent is held in a reserve fund and will be allocated when a road study is completed.

 

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