County commissioners are going back to the drawing board in their effort to secure a contractor for storm debris removal.

At the suggestion of First Assistant District attorney Ben Loring, the county is tossing the proposals received Thursday, re-thinking their plan and will, according to Ottawa County Clerk, withdraw the waiver of the competitive bidding laws and find a contractor through a formal bid process.

The commission will discuss the matter in detail today as they convene at 9 a.m. for their regular meeting.

Commissioners are hoping to secure a contractor to pick up and haul broken tree limbs, damaged and fallen trees from the county's right-of-way areas as well as the area's smallest municipalities where the county can offer cleanup assistance.

A recent ice storm brought down hundreds of trees in northeast Oklahoma and left thousands without power.

On Friday, Ottawa County was among 18 counties added to Governor Brad Henry's request for federal disaster declaration.

The 18 counties added now join seven counties previously approved to receive public assistance for repairs to roads, bridges and public facilities, debris removal and other costs.

The newly approved counties are Beaver; Caddo; Canadian; Craig; Creek; Delaware; Grady; McClain; Nowata; Okfuskee; Okmulgee; Osage; Ottawa; Pawnee; Payne; Rogers; Seminole and Washington.

President George Bush last week approved public assistance for Cleveland; Lincoln; Mayes; Oklahoma; Pottawatomie; Tulsa and Wagoner counties.

As additional preliminary damage assessments are completed, more counties will be requested to receive public assistance, Henry said.

Henry has estimated that the storm caused more than $200 million in damage in the state. It led to 29 deaths and disrupted electrical service to more than 600,000 homes and businesses in the biggest blackout in state history.