Commissioners seeking asphalt plant manager, employee

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James Beaty, McAlester News-Capital, Okla.
·2 min read
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Apr. 17—Pittsburg County commissioners plan to conduct interviews Monday for new employees for the county's asphalt plant.

Their April 19 meeting agenda includes an item calling for the commissioners to go into a closed executive session to conduct the interviews.

District 1 Commissioner Charlie Rogers and District 2 Commissioner Kevin Smith both said in separate interviews Friday the commissioners could officially hire a new manager and another employee for the asphalt plant as soon as this coming week.

Previous plant manager Shawn Coffey is no longer employed at the site, commissioners said. Smith estimated the asphalt plant has been without a manager for approximately 45 days. He said the commissioners were still able to patch roads because there was an available supply of asphalt that had already been made. However, his portion of the asphalt is dwindling, said Smith.

Commissioners put out notices for the job openings with the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission and also put it up on their website, Smith said. In addition, he said there are a number of applications for employment with the commissioners that are already on-file.

Rogers and Smith said they conducted an interview for the plant manager's position during an April 14 special meeting, but no one has yet been officially hired.

"We interviewed one who had some qualifications," Smith said. He said the minimum qualifications do not include already knowing how to operate an asphalt plant.

"Every plant's a little different," said Smith.

One reason commissioners hope to have the positions filled by next week is because of plans for a representative from Ahern Industries, the company which sold the plant equipment to the commissioners,t o be in Pittsburg County by the middle of next week to train any new employees.

The plant began production in November 2019. it's east of McAlester, between Bache and Alderson, on the south side of U.S. Highway 270, across the highway from the Yellowhouse Machinery John Deere site.

Commissioners voted in April 2019 to purchase the plant equipment form Ahern Industries, Inc., of San Antonio, Texas, which submitted the winning bid of $1,479,000.The price included delivery of equipment and an Ahern Industries representative on-site as the equipment was put together and installed, and to also advise the commissioners regarding construction required to make the plant operational.

Smith said he would like for several other county employees, including some of his District 2 county employees, to also receive the training on how to operate the plant.

Contact James Beaty at jbeaty@mcalesternews.com.