Claremore Daily Progress

August 1, 2013

Demolition plan set in motion

Old courthouse to be razed by Labor Day

Salesha Wilken
Staff Reporter

CLAREMORE —

Rogers County Commissioners will forego a public auction of miscellaneous items and have set in motion the demolition of the old courthouse structure by Labor Day.
On Wednesday, county workers, with the assistance of a large industrial crane, removed final items from the structure.
Commissioners Mike Helm and Kirt Thacker voted 2 -1 at the June 24 meeting against the auction and established Wednesday as the deadline for the removal of items from the building.
Commissioner Dan DeLozier, who opposed the decision, said, “he voted no because he thought there was quite a bit of value left over there,” according to the minutes.
His opposition received little response after weeks of discussion by the board.
The county will save approximately $4,000 a month in utility expenses once the building is demolished and about $14,000 in annual insurance premiums, according to Helm.
A bid proposal for demolition services is to be published next week, he said.
Once the building is destroyed, the county will be able to begin work on the plaza and parking lot, according to Helm.
Weeks of discussions, including advice from Alan Carter, employee of Rogers County District 2, and two auctioneering companies, Mr. Ed’s Auction and Mike Graham Auctions, prompted the board to act.
The board briefly discussed Graham’s proposal on May 6,  which included the county hosting an auction at the Claremore Expo Center at a cost of approximately $40,000. The idea, however,  was later dismissed.
Ed Vierheller, owner Mr. Ed’s Auction, told the board on June 17 he didn’t think there was that much value in the old courthouse items. 
The general procedure for disposing of county equipment requires items with a value of more than $750 to be listed on the commissioner’s agenda for a vote prior to disposal or transfer between departments, according to Helm.
The only items currently listed on an agenda since the move into the new building were items disposed of by the office of Rogers County Treasurer Kathy Pinkerton Baker.
Baker requested the disposal of several items on May 13 including a safe, filing cabinets, shelving and four desks transferred to DeLozier.
DeLozier said he is salvaging items including chairs, sinks, toilets to be reused in the construction of his new office building in rural Chelsea.
Furniture, shelving, wiring, windows, wood paneling, electrical equipment, fire extinguishers, display cabinets, light bulbs, air filters, water fountains, rugs, ceiling fans and many other miscellaneous items have also been removed from the building. Many of the items are being used in county barns for office personnel. However, some items have been distributed to outside sources.
Helm said he gave a couch to the Oologah Talala Emergency Management Service.
Several private and public schools have also taken items from the courthouse for reuse, he added. 
Helm said he doesn’t believe anything worth $750 or more has been removed from the building.