The Pryor Times

February 15, 2014

The cost of doing business

Cydney Baron
Staff Reporter

PRYOR, OK — The cost of running 911 dispatch is six figures lower than the Mayes Emergency Services Trust Authority director reported.

“Basically, Rick Langkamp has been reporting the wrong numbers,” said Commissioner Darrell Yoder. “This whole thing is a three-ring circus. “

For months the county commissioners have been looking into the revenue and expenditure of both MESTA and the Mayes County 911 Center as part of a plan to separate the two entities. In doing so, multiple sets of accounting numbers have been passed along.

Each newspaper got a different set of numbers, the commissioners got another set, even MESTA’s governing board got something different, according to Yoder.

“Bottom line in all the numbers is that Rick said it costs $390,000 per year to run the 911 Center and all the numbers he gave were to match that. The reality is it only costs $270,000 per year to run it,” said Yoder.

“I was led to believe Rick was a numbers guy, that numbers were his specialty, so I don’t know how he could get the books so confused,” said Commissioner Alva Martin.

“This is very concerning to me. Johnny Ragsdale is the CPA for MESTA, but he can only use the numbers Rick provides him, that’s how this deal has gone on for so long,” said Yoder.

Yoder said Langkamp has grown MESTA by $2 million over 10-years, making himself out to be the hero.

“But $800,000 of that was from the county’s 911 Center. So he’s grown MESTA using county funds. And he’s going to have to start paying dispatch fees now,” said Yoder. “That’s why he fought tooth and nail to keep a hold of this center, so he wouldn’t be exposed.”

Yoder emphasized the county 911 Center, which is under the eye of a new director, can survive on its current revenue. In fact, Yoder said, there is $60,000 per year in reserve.