Cattle guard change OK’d

Staff Writer
Pawhuska Journal-Capital

The county board of commissioners Monday approved a request from District 3 Commissioner Darren McKinney to lift a prohibition on the installation of cattle guards on county roads.

McKinney said Bluestem Ranch had agreed to pay the cost of installation for a cattle guard project, and to do the installation to the county’s specifications. He said there are two areas affected — one on Atlantic Richfield Road, and the other near Hominy.

District 1 Commissioner Jerry Howerton asked McKinney if landowners needed to direct requests to the office of the commissioners, to the board of commissioners, or to individual commissioners.

McKinney initially replied that it would be OK with him if landowners contacted: the commissioners’ office, the board as a whole, or individual commissioners; however, he and Howerton and District 2 Commissioner Kevin Paslay seemed to settle on the notion that it would be better for each individual commissioner to handle requests within his district.

“I don’t figure you guys want to waste your time with governing my gravel roads,” McKinney said. He added that he had spoken to road-shop personnel for his district, and they had no problem with the Bluestem Ranch request.

Howerton offered a motion to approve McKinney’s request, and it passed by a 3-0 vote.

“Opening this back up is going to cause a little bit of conflict,” Howerton said, but he added that the issue needed to be addressed.

Kandy Jump, assistant to the commissioners, later confirmed for the Journal-Capital that the board had favored the understanding that each commissioner could handle his own cattle-guard requests; however, she clarified that there may be further discussion of the issue because of some interest among the board members in creating a paper trail regarding cattle guard requests by running those requests through the board as a whole.