Commissioners are busy changing things up.
Bryan County recently acquired the building previously used to house the Robert L. Williams Public Library on West Beech from the city of Durant.
Now that the library is in its new location on Main Street, the Bryan County Commissioners are busy preparing the building for county use.
A quick drive by the old library reveals new parking spaces, lots of dirt and orange cones.
“We’ve already added eight additional parking spaces on the west side of the courthouse,” Bryan County District 1 Commissioner Monty Montgomery said. “We’re in the process of pouring a new sidewalk. By next week, we’ll have the parking done.”
The county is also removing three old houses from Fifth and Beech. Two houses were moved Thursday and Montgomery believes the third house will be “gone by the middle of next week.” The removal of these houses will allow for even more parking.
The inside of the old library is currently being renovated as well. The commissioners have accepted a bid for the installation of insulation and framing on the interior walls should be done by next week. Montgomery said electricians will be visiting the building soon to do the rewiring.
When the renovation is complete, the building will contain the offices of the county treasurer, tax assessor, county clerk and the county commissioners’ offices.
The commissioners are not just changing things up in Bryan County, they are taking their fight against the Oklahoma Department of Corrections (DOC) state-wide. It has been reported that the state attorney general issued an opinion that DOC must pay counties housing DOC prisoners any expenses accrued more than $27, but DOC isn’t wanting to pay up.
This problem is not limited to Bryan County, every county housing DOC prisoners in the state of Oklahoma is currently footing the bill for the extra costs of prisoners.
“We’re trying to lead the charge,” Montgomery said.
Last week, the commissioners presented their cause to the Board of Directors of the Association of County Commissioners of Oklahoma and on the 15th of next month, the commissioners will present their message once again to the Oklahoma County Officers in Norman.
“We’ve received a lot of good comments,” Montgomery said.
“We’re trying to change the state statute that the state legislature has put into place that says DOC pays $27 a day. It will mean a lot to the county financially.”