Red Star Rural Water District #2, Roger Mills County Honored

Governor Stitt issued a proclamation to Cherokee County Rural Water District commending their commitment to sustainability in the water industry.

The Rural Water, Sewer, and Solid Waste Management, District No. 2 Roger Mills County, Oklahoma (Red Star Water District) was presented with a proclamation from Governor Stitt on March 9, 2021 for compiling their long range sustainability plan and for implementing efforts to become more sustainable.

In 2019, Governor Kevin Stitt set forth a vision of an alliance agreement committing the Office of the Oklahoma Secretary of Energy and Environment, Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality, Oklahoma Rural Water Association, and the Oklahoma Water Resources Board to work together to improve the sustainability of Oklahoma rural and small community water and wastewater systems. The Oklahoma Strategic Alliance was then created.

“The safe and plentiful water your district provides supports economic growth, protects public health and supports agriculture. You would be hard pressed to find any other stronger force for good in rural America than a rural water district and that is why it is critically important we support public water supply sustainability for our rural systems” said Brandon Bowman, Capacity Develop Manager for the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality.

Bowman presented Roger Mills County No. 2 (Red Star Water District) with a signed Proclamation from Governor Stitt and commended the Board of Directors for their vision. Since participating in the Long Range Sustainability Plan, 28 leaks have been located and fixed, which is a savings of 26 million gallons of water per year at a value of $71,000 per year.

As part of the long range sustainability plan, representatives from ORWA and ODEQ performed various analyses of the system and worked to implement plans that therefore create a living document for the system. Among those analyses were a rate analysis, water audit, leak detection, a hydraulic analysis and an asset management study in order to help ensure the economic sustainability of the system.

LRSP Team Member Mark Matheson presented the Rural Water, Sewer, and Solid Waste Management District No. 2 Roger Mills County, Oklahoma (Red Star Water District) with their LRSP notebook.

The Oklahoma Strategic Alliance is proud of the progress Red Star Rural Water District #2, Roger Mills County has made as they work towards a more sustainable future.

John Britton and wife Darla managed and operated the district its first twenty years.  They are now preparing to officially pass the baton to incoming System Manager, Landon Holcomb.

“I realized it was going to be a lot of work but never knew how much went into it; a lot more than what you see from the outside. I grew up drinking this water here in town and look forward to the goals we would like to implement and appreciate working for a great Board,” Holcomb said.

Joe Freeman, Financial Assistance Division Chief for the Oklahoma Water Resources Board, expressed gratitude in having the opportunity to work with Red Star Rural Water District #2, Roger Mills County and the Alliance.

In preparation for the presentation, Freeman shared the very first loan the Oklahoma Water Resources Board ever made was in 1986 for $165,000 and it was to the Rural Water, Sewer, and Solid Waste Management, District No. 2 Roger Mills County, Oklahoma (Red Star Water District).

Because the district has completed the compilation of their Long Range Sustainability Plan with the Alliance, Freeman stated, “they will receive extra points in future grant applications because they have shown they are managing their district and trying to be proactive.”

For more information on the Oklahoma Strategic Alliance or sustainability services visit orwa.org or email okalliance@orwa.org.

– Written by Sandra Stevenson

The Oklahoma Strategic Alliance was formed in 2019. Governor Kevin Stitt set forth a vision of an agreement committing the Office of the Oklahoma Secretary of Energy and Environment, Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality, Oklahoma Rural Water Association, and the Oklahoma Water Resources Board to work together to improve the sustainability of Oklahoma rural and small community water and wastewater systems. For more information on the Oklahoma Strategic Alliance contact okalliance@orwa.org.

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