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Commission plans off-site meeting

The Canadian County Board of County Commissioners is going on the road.
The county commissioners decided Monday to plan a meeting outside the county administration building later in October.
The meeting will be in the evening rather than at the commissioners’ normal meeting time of 9 a.m. Mondays.
The commissioners have held such meetings in the past.
“It makes us more accessible,” said Commissioner Marc Hader, who suggested the off-site meeting. “We let this year slip away without one of these meetings.”
A meeting that focused on a new county fairgrounds, held two years ago at the Canadian Valley Technology Center between El Reno and Yukon, drew a large crowd.
On the other hand, no major issues are before the commissioners now and generating attendance might be difficult, Commissioner David Anderson said.
“Nobody is knocking on the door,” he said.
Some off-site meetings have been held at city halls within the county.
The upcoming meeting might only attract officials of the city hosting it and “whoever locks the building up,” Anderson said.
“We need to beef up the agenda,” Commissioner Jack Stewart said.
Hader volunteered to check with Okarche about hosting the meeting, possibly on Oct. 28, with Piedmont as an alternate location.
The commissioners also authorized applying for a state emergency management grant.
The county has received $30,000 to $40,000 annually from such grants, Emergency Management Director Andrew Skidmore said.
Skidmore’s role in the emergency management office is to manage resource – in preparation for an emergency, during an event and during recovery, he said.
“When we’re dealing with a humanitarian crisis, we work to reduce the harmful effects,” he said.
Skidmore serves as a middleman who connects local officials and nonprofit organizations with state and local agencies.
After flooding and a tornado in the spring, he helped FEMA representatives who knocked on doors of residents and operated a disaster assistance center from two trailers for two weeks.
FEMA provided 198 homeowners and renters with $610,071 in grants for damage from flooding and tornadoes, said FEMA spokeswoman Sharon Karr.
Skidmore also coordinated response by the SBA and the Red Cross.
On Sept. 24, he helped the local emergency management committee hold a damage prevention presentation that Tux Jackson of All American Pipeline conducted.
Also, the county has activated its Long-term Disaster Recovery Committee, which is coordinating assistance to people who don’t quality for other help following the spring events. Catholic Charities is serving as the case manager for assistance from various groups, primarily nonprofits.
“We want to help people who slipped through the cracks,” Skidmore said.

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