At an April 4 meeting, the Cherokee County Board of Commissioners heard further concerns from a District 3 resident about a drainage issue.
Mike Wilcox brought an issue to the board in two separate meetings and asked for help. He explained that an iron horn culvert was in the roadway and collapsed twice before the county filled it in with gravel years ago. Wilcox said rainwater creates a large floodplain and his land gets flooded because there is no drainage.
“About a year ago I met with my attorney who is not from Cherokee County, but on the drainage issue I have on South 500 Road, we’ve talked about it before,” Wilcox said. “Section 2.8.2. of the Oklahoma State Highway Drainage Guidelines discusses surface water, upstream landowner rights, downstream landowner rights, and natural drainage. “
Wilcox explained that if he were to go to court with this case, he would be asked if he had tried to resolve it with the commissioners first.
“I’ve met you all twice before and I’ve met you a third time. We discussed drainage and elevations and all that, but [he] said I hadn’t discussed Oklahoma law,” Wilcox said.
District 3 Commissioner Clif Hall first told Wilcox at the Dec. 6 meeting that it wouldn’t be an easy fix, and that he would need to photograph the elevation and may need access to neighboring properties. . Hall advised that if Wilcox found the spot with the existing tinhorn, his crew would dig it up to prove there was one, and then they would replace it.
“I can go back on Google Earth to 1985; it is a weak point in your field. It’s not my responsibility, it’s not my fault, I’m sorry you have it. It is a low point that retains water when it rains. You have six or seven all over your place like that,” Hall said.
Hall said they shot the elevation of the property and everything was “flat” there.
“It’s really flat land for half a mile in every direction right there. The water has nowhere to go,” Hall said.
Wilcox warned that if he takes the matter to court he can say he tried to resolve it, and two people could testify there was a culvert across the road at one point given.
He asked the council when they could expect the culvert to be replaced, and Hall said that would be when he could get there.
“So it’s a matter of priorities, isn’t it?” A mile north of here and a mile east of here is Bald Hill Road, and in the last seven months in two different places you’ve removed working double culverts. They may not have carried the amount of water the county wanted, but they were fully functional,” Wilcox said.
Hall pointed out that these culverts were rotting and collapsing. He assured Wilcox that the county would replace the culvert at some point.
In other business, the council approved a resolution to agree to deposit a check from the Cherokee Nation into the accounts of District 2 Commissioner Chris Jenkins to reimburse him for road projects.
Council also passed a resolution to deposit a check for $37,558 from the self-insured group for a damaged grader.
Solid Waste‘s Jamie Halfacre has received approval to upgrade the computers and software at the county’s three transfer stations.
A claim for juvenile detention/transportation of $280 was approved. All claims, purchase orders, credits and transfers have been accepted.
The next meeting of the Cherokee County Board of Commissioners will be Monday, April 18 at 9 a.m. at the Cherokee County Courthouse.