Deputies and inmates will resume cleaning up Rogers County roadways thanks to a grant provided by the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality.

The prior agreement between the county and the Sheriff’s Department to have inmates pick up trash along county roadways was ended in August 2018, due to the county’s temporary loss in revenue following a vote to end the one-penny sales tax.

Despite a vote to restore the tax in February, several county road projects were delayed, and programs like the inmate trash service were not restored.

The $50,000 grant from DEQ will pay for the salary and equipment for a deputy to investigate and clean up illegal dump sites on, or adjacent to, public right of ways or other publicly owned property, or on private property with the express permission of the land owner.

Included in the cost is the salary of a trash deputy, up to $30,000, though county is responsible for benefits, and roughly $20,000 worth of equipment.

“We’re going to use the remaining funds to purchase a trailer as well as some safety equipment,” Undersheriff Jon Sappington said. “Our plan is to take the inmates, county-wide, and pick up trash.”

The contract is in effect for two years and can be renewed thereafter, though funding is dependent on state funding for DEQ.

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