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Local News

April 30, 2013

Commissioners continue pipeline crossing discussion

DUNCAN — Despite having a week to look it over, the Board of Stephens County Commissioners still hasn’t reached a decision on pipeline crossing policy for the county.

During Monday’s regular meeting, the commissioners continued their discussion of the policy, as picked up from the April 22 regular meeting. In that discussion, the board worked to determine whether to charge for road crossings involving various pipes, and how much should be charged for the work.

“The only thing that concerns me is a family wanting to cross a road to run a water line,” Dee Bowen, District 2 commissioner and board chairman, said. “I just don’t feel comfortable with charging to run a water line. We need to be fair to everyone across the board.”

It was because of this issue the board chose to table the item for another week. Bowen plans to use the time to determine if utilities, such as water, are exempt from the policy.

He said the primary goal would be not to charge to run the pipeline crossing when it came to water, but to charge only for boring the road.

In the previous meeting, the commissioners had discussed how much other counties charge for pipeline crossings. Grady County charges $400, while Roger Mills County charges $1,000. Stephens County had a refundable deposit of $250. During that meeting, Bowen said Stephens County might be the only Oklahoma county not to charge for pipeline crossings.

The commissioners agreed that $1,000 would be too high of a charge for each pipeline crossing in Stephens County.

“I think $1,000 is too much,” Lonnie Estes, District 2 commissioner, said. “I’d be willing to go to $500.”

Although the item was tabled until the May 6 regular meeting, the commissioners did discuss possibly putting Jimmy Pryor, flood plains manager, in charge of the pipeline crossing permits. This may be another item discussed during the May 6 regular meeting.

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