Problems in making purchases without a credit card has forced the Sequoyah County Commissioners to obtain a purchasing card (P-Card) after the Sequoyah County Emergency Management director ran into problems getting CDL drivers registered into a federal data base.
Jonathan Teague, who serves as director of Sequoyah County Emergency Management, has been assisting commissioners to get all county employees registered on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) data base and be in compliance with federal requirements.
However, Teague told commissioners last Monday getting the employees registered on the data base requires a cost and only accepts credit cards.
Currently, the county does not have a credit card, according to commissioners and most purchases are made with purchase orders.
“I have the total number of employees from all three districts and the sheriff ’s office but getting them into the data base is another issue,” Teague said.
Commissioners discussed what options they may have in paying not only the cost required by the clearinghouse, but for other county expenditures which may all soon require credit cards.
“Hotels are going to be requiring us to use credit cards pretty soon. Purchase orders will no longer be accepted,” Jim Rogers, Dist. 3 Commissioner said.
Rogers said the commissioners will begin the process of obtaining a PCard for the county which is similar to a credit card. Rogers said in order to be issued a P-Card, commissioners, the county purchasing agent, and anyone else using it must apply for the card, undergo training to become familiar with it and score at least 80 percent on a test after the training.
“My goal is to utilize the P-Card through the county clerk’s office because she is the purchasing agent for the county. We’ll still have to go through the process of submitting purchase orders but can pay for things using the card once we get the approval to use it,” he added.
Rogers said the federal law requiring a clearinghouse for CDL drivers must be completed before the end of December each fiscal year, which gives them little time to complete the training for the P-Card.
The law requiring all CDL drivers to register with FMCSA database went into effect on Jan. 6, 2020, but employers have a certain amount of time to register current and prospective employees and any drug and alcohol violations before permitting those employees to operate a commercial motor vehicle on public roads.
Failure to comply may lead to employment problems such as not getting hired or not being allowed to operate a commercial motor vehicle on public roads.
The database gives employers, the FMCSA, the state Drivers License Agencies and law enforcement real-time information about CDL commercial learner’s permit holders any drug and alcohol violations.
In other business, the commissioners approved to sign programming resolution to replace bridges and realign roadway over Big Skin Bayou in District 1.
Under old business, commissioners approved to add N. 4731 Road to District 3 Road Inventory since the road has been maintained for 30 years by the county but has not been in the system, according to commissioners.
Also approved was a transfer of two Stihl Backpack Blowers from West Tenkiller Fire Department to Gore Fire Department for a total amount of $500.
Approval was also granted for the Sequoyah County Sheriff ’s Office to surplus two patrol units, a 2013 Chevrolet Tahoe and a 2010 Chevrolet Tahoe. Both will be donated to Gore and Liberty Fire Departments.
The Commissioners approved a request from the Sequoyah County Sheriff ’s Office to apply for funding through the Oklahoma State Department of Mental Health. If approved, the funds (up to $122,000) would provide mental health services for the inmates, Sequoyah County Sheriff Larry Lane said. Lane also said the grant writers would write the grant relieving the sheriff ’s office from having to do the writing and other related work towards getting the grant completed.
Another item approved was a FY 23 financial statement from the Sequoyah County Treasurer and approval of cash fund estimate of needs and request for appropriations.
All reports and blanket purchase orders were also approved.