JAY – “Everyone needs to work together as a county,” said Delaware County Emergency Management head Robert Real during the county commissioners’ meeting Monday morning, as the board agreed to a contract between the county’s emergency management and the City of Grove’s emergency management.

The intergovernmental contract has been in the works for approximately a year, while both entities hammered out the details of the agreement.

During Monday’s meeting, a unanimous decision was  made to enter into the contract despite some misgivings on the part of District #3 commissioner Dave Kendrick.

Commissioner Kendrick’s concerns were in regard to whether or not Real had his “plate full” with his present duties and whether Real felt he would be able to handle the added duties that would accompany joining with the city of Grove’s program.

Real said, “I can get the job done. These are experienced people with equipment already in place. All they need is direction from someone. They’re already functioning. I’ll just be the top of the chain dealing with the state agency.”

The county will take over as of Jan. 1, 2009.

The City of Grove will pay the County $50,000 per year and retain ownership of all its equipment.

“The City of Grove and Delaware County are combining forces to make Emergency Management more effective and efficient,” explained City Manager Bruce Johnson in an interview Tuesday morning.

“Right now they have a part-time director and we have a part-time director, which means we don’t have full-time coverage,” he said.

Johnson said that by combining Emergency Management departments the city and the county will have less duplication of services and will be able to operate more efficiently with other state agencies because they will have a single source for coordinating efforts.

“We appreciate all the commissioners have done to help facilitate this,” Johnson said. “We are looking forward to a diligent, long, and productive partnership.”

Another top priority Monday morning was the matter of courthouse security.

Elected officials and judges joined the group to review a plan devised by Spirit Architect.

The plan is making headway, but those in attendance wanted to meet with the architectural firm to resolve questions and concerns that the commissioners were unable to speak to.

In other matters Monday morning:

• In a vote of 2-1, with District #2 commissioner Bill Cornell casting the no vote. The board tabled a motion to sponsor a transportation grant enhancement project for a pedestrian/bicycle path that will be located on Monkey Island. The proposed path will encroach into the TIF district developed earlier this year. Commissioner Cornell felt the matter should not be put on the agenda again and dropped altogether because of wording in the TIF district agreement. The matter was tabled further review by the other two commissioners.

• The platting of a new subdivision known as The Points Phase III was approved, but the platting of a subdivision to be known as Cherokee Village was tabled due to lack of all the necessary signatures.

• Two borrow permits was approved, one between Arrol Scott Bullard in District #1 and one between District #2 and Roy Phillips.

• Two bids were approved for advertisement, one for the lease purchase of a grader and loader/backhoe for District #2 and a track loader for District #3 through the revolving fund.

• A list of equipment was declared surplus property for District #3 and sealed bids for the property will be accepted no later than Jan. 5, 2009.

• County road projects were approved for application to overlay through the stimulus package for all three districts. Tim McCrary, engineer for the county, advised that only one application will be accepted. The board felt that all three districts have serious projects in need. District #1 has a project on Pheasant Run Road, District #2 wants an overlay on the Zena road, and the Colcord/Flint road is in need of repair in District #3. All three will be submitted with the decision to be made by The Association of County Commissioners of Oklahoma (ACCO).

• Payment will be made on a completed REAP project for Districts 1 and 3. The grant funded salt sheds for both districts.

• Guy Engineering was chosen to be the firm for county bridge inspections for the year 2009.

The next meeting of the Delaware County Commissioners will be held on Mon., Dec. 22 starting at 9 a.m. in the Commissioners Office of the Delaware County Courthouse.