McGuire honored for service to county
Undersheriff Fred McGuire officially said goodbye at Monday’s session of the Okmulgee County Board of Commissioners.
McGuire, who retired June 30, thanked everyone for their support.
“I can’t thank all of y’all and Sheriff Rice for the last 18 ½ years,” McGuire said. “I got here in 1992, the new kid in town … It’s been a roller coaster ride, obviously I mean what job isn’t but all y’all made it worth every dime and this county is taking such good care of me and my family … Thank you.”
“This is Fred’s little special day,” Sheriff Eddy Rice said. “And this is because he already retired on Friday, but we wanted to do a public gathering for people could come and express their concerns of why you retired.”
“I’m still halfway speechless, because it’s just one of those things,” Rice said, continuing, “I mean, when you pick an undersheriff, you pray about it, you decide on the individual that you’re going to put in that place. It’s a partnership, and you’re trying to serve a community and you’re trying to serve everyone within those boundaries, and take care of your deputies and take care of the day to day tasks. And so choosing that undersheriff is crucial. And that proves – 18 and a half years – proves that I chose the right person that day.”
Senator Roger Thompson was present at the meeting and read a proclamation honoring McGuire on his retirement, and 34 years in law enforcement. He wished Mc-Guire best wishes and congratulations on his retirement.
The commissioners also approved a Resolution to use $900,000 of ARPA funds for road repairs.
Commissioner Erik Zoellner, who asked for the items to placed on agenda, explained why the funds were needed: “We, to date, have spent $4,546,471 of our total ARPA award of $7,471,375. I’ve had a lot of constituents that have said, ‘we need our roads fixed.’ I’ve heard one thing consistently, it’s that we’re still dealing with issues from the flood that we experienced last year. So I asked to have this … on the agenda, so we could consider $900,000. I know they’re still monies that are needed for the windows, that amount we know definitively now is $1,123,972.
“And which there’ll be a balance, approximately left in ARPA, to cover half of that. And then the other half, potentially could come from county use tax, which would be allowed to be used for that. But again, I’m hearing overwhelmingly from my constituents that we need more roads fixed. And that’s my recommendation for and that’s why I wanted it on the agenda,” Zollner said.
“And we did this once before,” Commissioner David Walker said. “We broke it out just for roads. And I had mine used up in probably three months … The price of everything’s went up. Gravel went up. Hauling went up. Asphalts went up. Holdings went up, demonstrably. So I feel like it’d be a good idea to put some of it back out.”
– Agenda items approved during Monday’s meeting were:
• Minutes of June 30 meeting
• Officers Reports for June from the County Clerk and County Assessor, and the Okmulgee County Health Department.
• Blanket Purchase Orders: District 2 to Dildine Lawn Care, $600; Emergency Management to Dildine Lawn Care for $400; General Government to Cookson Hills Publishing for Legal Publications for $1,500; District 3 to RPI for $800, to O’Reilly’s for $400, Cintas for $700; and Health Department to Muscogee Nation for x-rays for $500, and to Amazon for $3,000.
• Employee Forms: Genny Mooney, Treasurer, employment ceased; Donation of Sick Leave from Ernie Ferreria to Scott Lamb, 40 hours.
• Utility Permits: District 1 with Beggs Telephone Company.
• Private Property Agreements: District 1 with James Cole to dispose of ditch dirt.
• Annual Contracts/ Agreements for 2023-24 for the Health Department.
• Resolution for Bond Resolution to cover County Treasurer and Deputies.
• Resolution to designate Okmulgee County depository banks
• Awarded Bid #19 for hauling of materials for a six-month period to Smithey Environmental Services, LLC. It was the only bid received.
Under New Business, the board approved the monthly transfers; and two special checks to balance out the fiscal year, and to pay for services for work on the gazebos.
-The commissioners also met last Friday, in their last meeting of the month and of the fiscal year. Agenda items discussed were:
• Approval of the minutes from the June 26 meeting.
• Approved action on two employee forms.
• Approved service agreements with three juvenile detention centers: Pittsburgh County, Cleveland County, and Pottawatomie County.
• Commissioners also voted to approve the surplus of highway funds from the 2022-23 fiscal year to 2023-24 fiscal year. County Clerk Tonya Day explained that this allows them to “roll over monies to the new fiscal year so [that] we can pay things in the new year … a formality, honestly.”