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Cleveland thanks legislators for cooperation

Cleveland thanks legislators for cooperation

Norman Transcript: By Peggy Laizure

August 22, 2009 01:15 am

District 1 Cleveland County Commissioner Rod Cleveland recently held a legislators appreciation cookout at the District 1 warehouse.

Rusty Sullivan, District 3 commissioner, attended along with Cleveland County Assistant District Attorney David Batton. Reps. Paul Wesselhoft, House District 54, Lisa Billy, District 42, and Gary W. Banz, District 101, attended the cookout. Sen. John Sparks, District 16, also attended.

Cleveland thanked the legislators for working with the county and cities in Cleveland County. He also thanked Moore City Assistant Manager Stan Drake.

Drake said the county is a "big asset to the City of Moore."

Cleveland also said the Indian tribes are working with the county to improve roads and bridges.

Randy Robinson with the State Circuit Engineering Board addressed the crowd, thanking the legislators, city officials and the county commissioners for their cooperation.

The Association of Central Oklahoma Governments did a random survey asking how transportation dollars should be spent. The question asked was, "If you had $100 how should the money be split?" Seventeen hundred people responded.

The results were $26.54 to maintain current roads and bridges, $21.67 for passenger rail system and $11.05 for bus transit services, Cleveland said.

"We have to take care of the current needs before we start spending on other transportation needs," he said.

After thanking the officials, Cleveland told them what the county does for the area.

He said the county maintains 14.88 miles of roads in the town of Lexington, 46.96 miles in Slaughterville and 51.87 miles in Etowah. The county also maintains 109 miles of gravel roads and 218 miles of asphalt and chip roads.

There are 81 bridges in Cleveland County. Of those, 29 are structurally deficient and five are functionally obsolete. He said $7.9 million is needed to repair or rebuild the bridges.

District 1 -- Cleveland's district -- has prepared the site for the detention center on 24th Avenue NW in Norman. District 1 maintains 84 miles of county roads that fall within a municipality and provides right-of-way mowing at the request of city maintenance.

In Norman, District 1 crews have helped with the Rock Creek Road reconstruction, Indian Hills and Westminster. They built an irrigation pond of 7.5 acres with more than 45,000 cubic yards of dirt and 65 million gallons, and have provided disaster relief.

Two football fields have been built by District 1 in Moore. The crews also have rebuilt a 3 acre pond at Buck Thomas Park and have helped with numerous street projects and disaster relief.

District 1 chipped and sealed 17.5 miles that cost south Oklahoma City around $250,000 which saved the city nearly $300,000 if they would have bid out the work.

"I have been working on several other road projects that are 'Big Ideas' however; we have to work on them for the future," Cleveland said. "I believe that transportation is the key to economic growth for Cleveland County and Oklahoma. With proper transportation planning, Cleveland County is be a leader economic and lifestyle growth in Oklahoma."

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