Business

Osage LLC offices moving to Osage County

TULSA — Osage LLC is getting a new home for the holidays.

At its Nov. 13 meeting, the company’s board of directors approved a two-year lease for office space at 201 W. Rogers Boulevard in Skiatook. Upon completion of the move in mid-December, Osage LLC’s corporate offices will officially be in Osage County, something the board had previously indicated a desire to make happen.

“We are very happy about that (moving to Skiatook),” Chairwoman Kay Bills said.

As moving preparations start ramping up, so is groundwork for the two grant-funded broadband projects under Osage LLC’s purview.

Representatives for the Osage Nation, Osage LLC, the Oklahoma Department of Transportation and the U.S. Department of Agriculture are scheduled to meet Nov. 25 about the projects. Along with site visits, the group will collect topographical data for the proposed tower sites for both the Fairfax and Bowring projects.

“It is finally moving,” Quality Control Officer Molly Franks said. “After we meet, everyone should know what’s going on and where everything’s at. From that point, we can move forward more expediently.”

That same forward progress is not to be found with respect to another government contract underway.

Earlier this year, Osage LLC won a contract from Indian Health Services to provide assistance addressing a declared mental health emergency at the Fort Belknap Reservation. The Fort Belknap Indian Community made the declaration after a rash of suicides and suicide attempts by tribal members, particularly among the youth. According to the most recent data available from the Montana Department of Health and Human Services, 42 of every 100,000 deaths among Native youth is via suicide.

The suicide rate still remains high in the Fort Belknap community, which is home to about 5,800 tribal members. Despite deploying personnel to the area in July, those medical professionals still have not received the necessary credentials to see patients.

“They’ve been standing by, readying to go in and help with a declared emergency,” Osage LLC Gina Gray said. “We’re doing what we can to get that going.”

Additionally, no end date is in sight for Moss Adams’ audit of the company’s 2018 financials. The time period under review is largely prior to when the current board was seated and records from that period are still spotty.

“We’ve given them everything they’ve asked for,” board member Frank Freeman said. “They’re just now starting to ask questions. We’re at a stalemate…and there is nothing we can do at this point.

“They will not give us a date.”