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May 6, 2014

Commissioners approve construction project at fairgrounds

DUNCAN — Stephens County commissioners took a step toward growth of the Stephens County Fair & Expo Center by approving the construction project.

The project was tabled from the April 28 regular meeting. After a week of reviewing, the commissioners chose to approved the project during Monday’s meeting.

“If we don’t do it now, we’ll never do it,” Darrell Sparks, District 1 commissioner, said.

The county districts will be in charge of do the dirt work for the project, Sparks said, because the districts’ workers do such work on a regular basis. Once dirt work is completed, a building will be constructed south of the exiting arena.

Dee Bowen, District 3 commissioner and board chairman, said the construction project, which has been in discussion for months, will provide an opportunity to make various improvements to the fairgrounds.

“We’re going to build a building,” Bowen said. “We can put horse stalls on it. Then they’ll always be up.”

In other action:

n the commissioners approved an agreement between the county E911 program and AT&T to allow access to E911 information through an online database.

“It allows me to make changes on any new addresses,” Mark Suson, county E911 director, said.

Through the E911 program, county residents have been provided home addresses, which must be approved through the United State Postal Service before being deemed ready to use. The permanent addresses are intended to make it easier for emergency vehicles to their way to homes needing aid.

n A man, who works for a pipeline business, expressed his concerns over the county’s recently updated pipeline permit regulations.

The regulations were updated to require all businesses running pipelines under county streets to encase those pipelines. Brian Green said casing may not be the best method of ensuring pipelines are best kept.

“We have watched casings go away because of pipeline integrity issues,” Green said. “It’s not a cost issue. This isn’t saving money or time. It’s building a better pipeline that’s more reliable.”

Green said, if needed, pipelines could be buried deeper. His company typically buries pipelines about 4 feet underground. He said the idea behind doing away with casings on pipelines is to ensure public safety, which is why the commissioners approved requiring pipeline casings.

“We’ll comply with whatever you want,” Green said.

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