The Board of Osage County Commissioners met for a regularly scheduled meeting Monday morning and the possibility of re-constructing a courthouse in Pawhuska and adding an annex in Skiatook continued to be the main point of conversation.
District Two Commissioner Kevin Paslay wants to see the measure put to a vote in June and he strongly believes it will pass, thanks in large part to the citizens of Skiatook. The City Manager of Skiatook, Dan Yancey, has acknowledged that there is a need for a new courthouse, but says his citizens will be burdened with a sales tax that they don’t need. Yancey voiced his concern for the annex because most small fines could be paid online or over the phone.
District One Commissioner Randall Jones agreed with Yancey saying that there is a need for the courthouse, but there are too many other things the county needs to pay for at the moment. Jeff Raley, who has long been a proponent of this measure, said this is the time to put this on the ballot, as he believes interest rates will never again be this low. District Three Commissioner Darren McKinney opted to table the agenda item so that they can continue discussions in the weeks to follow.
Executive Director for Osage County Tourism, Kelly Bland was on hand giving a report on what has been going on across the county. Bland reported that she is sending monthly newsletters out to more than 5,000 people. When she came on board in 2017, they were sending out 113 of those newsletters. The commissioners gave Bland $6,000 to advertise for the Cavalcade Rodeo coming up in July and $1,000 to advertise the Tallgrass Music Festival in June.
Judge Stuart Tate let the commissioners know they would be going after an equipment grant that would allow them to have Wi-Fi in the second and third floor courtrooms. He said they will keep the commissioners apprised as to how much, if any, grant money they will receive.
The next regularly scheduled Board of Osage County Commissioners meeting will be next Monday at 10 o’ clock in the morning.