After a presentation by Sheriff Kevin Woodward at the commissioner’s end of the month meeting Wednesday, the commissioners voted to recommend that the Payne County Budget Board approve a new drug and alcohol testing policy following Oklahoma’s legalization of medical marijuana.

The proposed policy allows elected county officials to designate employment positions as “safety-sensitive” when the job responsibilities and duties could affect the safety and health of the employee or others.

The county commissioners will review submitted “safety-sensitive” positions and make recommendations to the budget board for approval or disapproval of the request.

Once approved by the budget board, an employee in a safety-sensitive position will be notified in writing of the designation.

County Clerk Glenna Craig, will be required to maintain a list of safety-sensitive positions as determined by the budget board.

The proposed policy provides that employees who hold positions designated as safety-sensitive are subject to discipline, including employment termination, if they test positive for marijuana components or metabolites. The policy also excludes applicants for safety-sensitive positions who test positive for marijuana components or metabolites.

The proposed policy also has a separate section for employees who drive commercial motor vehicles which require a commercial driver’s license. Those employees are subject to federal regulations that take priority over Oklahoma’s law legalizing medical marijuana.

In other business, the commissioners accepted a donation of 15 truck loads of gravel from Jim Campbell, a longtime supporter of Payne County government. District 3 commissioner Rocky Blasier, plans to use the gravel on Yost Road west of U.S. 177.

The commissioners approved placement of 4-way stop signs at the intersection of Jardot and 104th street. Blasier said the roadway south of the intersection is blacktop that turns to gravel and has resulted in accidents involving vehicles traveling north at a high rate of speed. The four-way stop will provide a safe transition from blacktop to gravel.

In other business, the commissioners declared two buses formerly used by the Sheriff’s office as surplus property. Woodward said the buses were donated by the Oklahoma City Metro Transit for prisoner transports, but are no longer operational.

The commissioners approved using the commissioner’s meeting room and hallways in the administration building on Feb. 7 for the Payne County Home and Community Education Annual Food Festival.

The commissioner also renewed the contract with Derek’s Tree Service for snow and ice removal from sidewalks and parking areas by the courthouse and administration building.

In regular business, the commissioners approved blanket purchase orders for November in the amount of $247,660, individual purchase orders totaling $146,748, and October payroll of $734,495 for approximately 270 county employees.

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