Citizens take issue with county road maintenance

Zach Cavett, Payne County Commissioner for District 1. Michelle Charles/Stillwater News Press

The first 25 minutes of Monday’s meeting of the Payne County Board of Commissioners dealt with complaints from a small group of residents about a road project recently taken on by District 1.

It’s an area the county had not been maintaining until recently.

Although Payne County has not accepted new roads for county maintenance for at least a decade, and the county had no legal obligation to maintain the road, District 1 Commissioner Zach Cavett agreed to honor a statement made in a meeting more than 20 years ago by former County Commissioner Bob White.

The road in question serves approximately 20 residences in the vicinity of Longview Drive and 47th Street.

Before the project began, Cavett submitted a bid of $30,000 to improve the road and bring it to county maintenance standards. An independent contractor submitted a bid for approximately $50,000.

The landowners accepted Cavett’s bid and his District 1 crew performed the work.

The landowners are now complaining that the work wasn’t done properly.

Bryan Whitfield and Richard Potts appeared before the County Commissioners to complain about the quality of the work the District 1 crews did in bringing their road up to county maintenance standards. They said county workers pulled dirt from the bar ditches onto the roadway before spreading four inches of gravel on it.

That dirt turned to mud and moved up to the surface of the gravel, Whitfield said.

Whitfield demanded Cavett to improve and repair the roadway and asked for a 60-day deadline to have it completed.

Cavett said rain is a factor in maintaining roads and that a promise of road maintenance could not be made. He also explained that other roadways needed to be repaired in District 1, and that his schedule of repairs is based on each roadway’s average daily traffic county and current conditions.

Whitfield insisted on a 60-day commitment to maintain the road.

Cavett agreed to Whitfield’s request to work on the road within the next 60 days, if there are no further spring rains in the area.

In other business:

The Payne County Board of Commissioners issued a proclamation declaring April as Child Abuse Prevention Month in Payne County. The proclamation notes that there were 15,809 confirmed cases of child abuse in Oklahoma last year and over 500 of those cases were in Payne County.

Pinwheels will be placed on the Payne County Courthouse lawn in April in a symbolic representation of the children who were victims of child abuse.

The commissioners opened bids on three bridge projects that will be reimbursed with FEMA funds because they were damaged by flooding last May.

They also opened bids on approximately 20 miles of asphalt overlay projects in District 1.

 Find Mark A. Moore on Facebook as Mark Moore SNP.

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