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Residents seek county’s help to repair private road damaged in flood

A Canadian County man said he and his neighbors are looking for a little help after a pond in their neighborhood breached its dam, flooding their road.
Mike Zachrits, president of the Gregory Terrace Homeowners’ Association, said he drove his pickup through more than a foot of floodwater on his way to the county commissioners’ meeting Monday.
That’s because a pond in the neighborhood has overflowed, pushing floodwaters into the neighborhood.
There are about 52 homes in the community.
District 1 County Commissioner Marc Hader, who represents the area, said there is not much that he, as a commissioner, can do because the roadway is privately owned.
State law prohibits county officials from using county resources on private property.
Zachrits and Hader met privately before the meeting.
Hader said that he and his crew have looked at the area to see if there are things that can be done to help the situation.
He said the county did provide a pipe to help with drainage where Gregory Road and the private road meet.
However, because the pond is privately owned and the road is as well, there is little else that can be done.
The homeowner said he and his neighbors do not have any funds to make repairs themselves and they have offered to deed the roadway to the county. However, the county officials have said the road does not meet the county’s standards.
Zachrits said the road has been impassable for anything other than a large pickup since May 26.
Officials from the Federal Emergency Management Agency also were unable to provide any relief for Zachrits or his neighbors. Because the property is privately owned, they aren’t eligible for federal assistance.
Meanwhile, officials from FEMA attended Monday’s commissioners’ meeting.
Glen Bales, a division supervisor for FEMA, said through Monday, the agency had provided more than $235,000 in assistance in Canadian County related to storm damage that began May 7.
That includes flooding and a tornado that struck the eastern side of El Reno.
A public meeting is set for 6 p.m. Thursday at the 27th Street Fire Station in El Reno related to storm damage. Representatives from FEMA and several other agencies will be in attendance.
The commissioners tabled a resolution to declare the county to be in a state of emergency following a May 25 tornado.
The commissioners were concerned because most of the damage from the tornado occurred in El Reno.
They requested that the resolution include language related to flooding in the county.
The commissioners said that as the floodwaters recede, they are finding substantial damage to county roadways.
The declaration would allow the county to seek federal assistance in recovering costs related to the repairs to the county’s infrastructure.
Also Monday, the commissioners:
•Rejected all bids as being too high for a reclaimer/stabilizer both with and without a cab;
•Approved a request to advertise for bids on specialty mower tires that are designed to resist punctures. The tires are not available on the state contract;
•Approved a resolution designating the name of a private road as Pine Creek Road for 911 purposes;
•Approved the disposal of a 2006 Ford Crown Victoria from the assessor’s office;
•Approved an extension of a contract with Clearwater Enterprises to purchase natural gas at the Children’s Justice Center;
•Approved a contract with JC Technologies for drug testing software at the Children’s Justice Center;
•Approved several employment agreements involving workers at the county health department;
•Approved a financial statement from the county treasurer’s office related to the recent resale of property;
Approved an agreement with Bank of Oklahoma for banking services;
Approved temporary permits for Newfield Exploration and Navigator SMS Pipeline;
•Tabled several permanent permit requests from Navigator SMS Pipeline.

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