Commissioner Scott Hilton brought the discussion of Emergency Medical Services in Osage County to the table Monday morning. Hilton continued the discussion of finding a means to fund EMS either through the existing Health Department tax measure, which was passed in 2006, or through an additional tax subsidy.
The Osage County District Attorney's Office has looked over the existing Heath Department tax and determined an amendment would need to be added in order to use the funds for EMS, the amendment would need to be approved through a vote by the people.
The Commissioners stated they would support an amendment to the existing Health Department tax but only if it does not impede funding for the Health Department. The Commissioner would like to avoid adding another quarter cent tax to help fund medical services, but it is a viable option.
The reason for the EMS discussion Monday morning was the recent vacancy left in the 911 coverage area when Eagle Medical Transport left the Barnsdall – Avant area.
Tensions rose at the Pawhuska City Council meeting Monday night. The discussion began when new Council member Steve Holcombe made a motion to declare the iconic Triangle building a nuisance, adding that the building violates health and safety codes. However, the public and the building current owners disagree.
Developers Bob Jack and John Snyder, are the current owners of the Triangle building; they also own the Mayo and Aloft Hotels in Tulsa. Bob Jack spoke to the council stating they had already put more than $2 million into the renovation of the building.
A heated discussion followed, when Council member Holcombe was asked if he wanted the building demolished, to which he responded “No,... I want to fish or cut bait.” Jack told council members that some major renovations will be made over the next six months, and it will be worth the wait.
The City Council agreed with the public opinion and Holcombe's motion to declare the building a nuisance was denied.
After a County employee failed a random drug screening, a lengthy discussion arose during the meeting of the Osage County Board of County Commissioners Monday.
According to the County's Drug and Alcohol Testing Policy, and Employee Handbook an employee who has tested positive will be terminated. However, the same employee may undergo Drug Rehabilitation and reapply for their position; but the duration of time from termination to reemployment was the question Commissioner Bob Jackson brought before the board.
The Osage County Employee Handbook does not specify a specific duration the County must wait before the terminated employee can reapply for their position. The employee in question had completed the required rehabilitation and was, in the opinion of the Rehabilitation Councilor, able to return to work.
After the lengthy discussion the Commissioners came to the conclusion to modify the Employee Handbook to specify that is to the discretion of the Elected Official to determine when a terminated employee may reapply.
They also a amended the Handbook to state that if an employee was terminated due to drug usage, the employee would need to complete a drug rehabilitation and pay for their own drug testing for a period of two years. The Commissioners anticipate that besides termination, the additional financial cost would dissuade employees from using drugs upon reemployment.
The Osage County Board of County Commissioners will meet again next Monday at 10am at the Osage County Courthouse in Pawhuska.
It is official, as of Sunday May 1, Eagle Medical Transport is no longer operating in Osage County. The announcement was made at the Monday morning meeting of the Osage County Board of County Commissioners. Eagle Med representatives had said they were trying to stay in operation through May but their ability to stay was dependent on the number of customers who signed up for their membership program. In the meantime Bartlesville, Pawhuska and Hominy EMS will be providing support for the now vacant coverage area.
The Osage Nation are partnering with the Oklahoma Wesleyan University Soccer Program to provide a free soccer camp for area youth. The dates for the camp are May 6, 7, and 13 at the Pawhuska High School football field.
The event is a collaborative effort by several Osage Nation programs and departments led by the WahZhaZhi Prevention program. Participants will learn soccer drills and techniques from current OKWU coaches and players. the first 150 youth to register will receive Nation sponsored soccer balls and bags.
Register online at www.osagenation-nsn.gov or pick up an applications at the Osage Nation Executive Office in Pawhuska. For more information call the Osage Nation Constituent Services Office at (918) 287-5555.