The Norman Transcript

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February 11, 2014

County commissioners lift burn ban

NORMAN — Cleveland County commissioners lifted a two-week old burn ban Monday.

Acting on the recommendation of Emergency Manager George Mauldin, the board voted 3-0 to lift the ban that was voted in Jan. 27. Mauldin said the majority of the county’s fire chiefs supported lifting the ban.

“For the forseeable future, I recommend we lift it to give people time to burn,” Mauldin said.

The two rounds of snow and ice in the past few weeks have produced little precipitation, Mauldin said, noting commissioners can reinstate the ban later if no significant moisture is produced.

Additionally, the board saw its second split vote in as many weeks. The board voted to assign Commissioner Rod Cleveland as the liaison with the county’s fairgrounds.

Commissioner Dary Stacy brought up the issue, and Cleveland volunteered to take on the duties. Commission Chairman Rusty Sullivan voted against the arrangement.

The board accepted a letter from Noble attorney Cheryl Clayton concerning progress on Cleveland County Rural Water District No. 1. Sullivan had requested a status report on the 10-year-old effort to supply water to about 144 square miles in southern Cleveland County.

Commissioners established the district in 2003 with plans to provide water to the Department of Corrections, the city of Lexington and about 88 households who have purchased benefit units.

Clayton, in her letter, said drilling water wells on corrections department has been held up since discovering the land is owned by the state and has not been deeded to the Corrections Department.

“The district is currently receiving advice and assistance from local legislators,” said Clayton, the water district’s attorney.

Commissioners also reported on Texas trips taken this past week. Cleveland and Stacy had lunch with billionaire oilman Boone Pickens, state legislators and other county officials in hopes of garnering support for counties converting vehicles to CNG power.

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