The Duncan Banner

May 7, 2013

Commissioners approve changes in pipeline crossing policies

Derrick Miller
The Duncan Banner

DUNCAN — It might have taken two weeks, but the Board of Stephens County Commissioner reached a decision to charge $500 per pipeline crossing.

This decision came during Monday’s regular meeting, when the board approved changing the policy regarding pipeline crossings to reflect the charge for each crossing.

The discussion began during the April 22 regular meeting, but was put on hold to allow the commissioners to look into how much to charge. At that time, the board had discussed how Stephens County might be the only county not to charge a fee and to only have a returnable deposit instead. During the April 29 regular meeting, the board tabled the item to see if people setting up utilities and other similar services would be charged the fee, if instated.

“We don’t have to charge on public utilities,” Dee Bowen, District 3 commissioner and board chairman, said. “They should still get a permit, event if they aren’t charged so we know they’re working on the road.”

While trying to determine how much to charge, the board did discuss how much some other Oklahoma counties charge for their pipeline crossings. Grady County charges $400, and Rogers Mills County charges $1,000. The commissioners said $1,000 would be too much, but all agreed on $500 being about how much they had in mind.

“I think that’s a reasonable number,” Bowen said.

The board also discuss changing specifications for pipeline crossings to ensure the roadways would be preserved. Among the additions was the call for signs to be placed as each crossing near the edge of the right-of-way in that area.

Another change will require people, who aren’t being charge because of the installation of public utilities, to take responsibility and liability for the roadway. If the road is damaged while the pipeline is being installed, they have to cover the cost of the repairs.

The change in the policy went into affect Monday.

The board also approved an item putting the flood plains manager in charge of distributing permits for the pipeline crossings. The current flood plains manager is Jimmy Pryor.

Pryor inspects the pipeline crossings for the flood plains, and the permits fit in with this job duty, the commissioners said.

In other action:

Stephens County members of OHCE attended the meeting to stress the importance of declaring the first full week in May as OHCE Week.

“We’re very proud to say we’re a part of Stephens County,” Brenda Gandy, OSU Extension Office educator, said.

“It’s a state mandate council, standardizing mapping in the state,” Suson said. “They’re starting to include E911.”

Suson said he will be releasing non-personal data to the council to help with the standardization in this area, although he was unsure how the standardization will impact Stephens County.

“Any standards they change, I’ll inform you all,” Suson said.