HEALTH

Commissioners approve virtual meetings, Triple X Road work, respite care

OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma County Board of County Commissioners (BoCC) met Tuesday morning to approve holding virtual meetings as needed as a COVID precaution. They agreed to a Memorandum of Understanding related to the Criminal Interdiction Team of Central Oklahoma and signed off on the final plans for the long-awaited Triple X Road streambank project. 

The Board went on to approve an agreement for respite care services with Cardinal Community House.

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Interdiction Team

The Criminal Interdiction Team of Central Oklahoma (CITCO) is a joint task force of the Oklahoma City Police Department, the Oklahoma County District Attorney’s office, and the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office. The purpose of the team is largely focused on drugs.

At Tuesday’s meeting of the BoCC, a memorandum of understanding between the Commissioners and the member bodies of CITCO was approved. 

The purpose of the MOU is to create a standard for prosecution of criminal forfeiture cases initiated by CITCO. 

Under this agreement, when CITCO seizes any personal property it must be transferred to the District Attorney’s office to undergo the asset forfeiture process.

Triple X Road

The Title Sheet for the long-awaited Triple X Road streambank stabilization project was signed today. This marks the last step in planning for the project, and the County will now be able to start the physical work on the project.

Readers might remember that in 2013, the North Canadian River caused enough erosion that a house fell into the river. The continued movement of the streambank, plus flooding, caused Triple X Road to be closed for about six years.

The first steps to stabilizing the streambank will be to place dykes and shore up the sandy, unstable soil in the area.

While today’s action will start to move the project forward, it doesn’t solve the road problem.

Two property owners along the river have refused to sell parcels needed for the project. The County Commissioners reluctantly voted recently to pursue imminent domain in order to acquire the parcels.

Much of the work will be done using a grant from FEMA. However, that grant expires in August of 2022. If the court process takes too long, that grant will be lost.

Respite Care

The Commissioners approved an agreement with Cardinal Community House to provide respite care services. Respite care is for people who are experiencing homelessness who are too ill to recover while living on the street, but not sick enough to be hospitalized.

Catholic Charities will partner in this endeavor by providing case management services. Case management will continue beyond a client’s respite stay, hopefully resulting in housing outcomes for clientele.

Cardinal Community House is a 160-bed resource for people experiencing homelessness and involvement in the criminal justice system.

Services will be offered to up to five persons at a time.

The cost is not to exceed $72,915.

State of emergency

At the request of Emergency Management Director David Barnes, the Commissioners voted to declare a state of emergency related to the recent winter storm that brought record breaking cold to the region. 

In order to receive emergency relief funds, a state of emergency must be declared. Currently the emergency relief on offer only covers 75% of “mass care and sheltering.” Barnes said that it is his hope the aid will be expanded to assist with other needs in the county.

The Board meets again on Monday, March 1 at 9:00 a.m.


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