Claremore Daily Progress

June 11, 2013

County to file claim on voided election

Salesha Wilken
Staff Reporter


Rogers County commissioners are turning to their insurance company to recoup money they spent on a recently voided 1-cent sales tax election.
Commissioners Kirt Thacker and Dan DeLozier approved a measure Monday to file a claim with Travelers Insurance. The claim will be filed on the county’s errors and admissions policy,  based on the county’s failure to publish proper legal notice.
Because the 1-cent sales tax election, which voters did approved, was not properly published as required by state statute, commissioners had to void the results.
They agreed Thursday to set a new election for the 1-cent sales tax renewal for Aug. 13. However, they agreed to ask voters to approve the shift of 1/8 of the cent to be used to repay a multi-million dollar judgement against the county for Material Services Inc. The remainder of the tax would go for county roads.
The election cost about $25,000.
Commissioner Mike Helm was not present for the meeting.
In other business, the board discussed several road projects, accepted or opened bids and considered options for auctioning old courthouse assets.
Thacker and DeLozier approved an application for several roads in Helm’s district to be submitted to the Oklahoma Department of Transportation to be included as “major collectors” for the county.
If approved, the roads could qualify for additional grant funding based on the designation.
One of the roadways includes a portion of 177th Street that runs through the Stone Canyon development, east of Owasso.
The goal is to extend the road through the Patriot Golf Course and eventually connect with Highway 266, according to engineer Brian Kellogg.
He said the plan has been in the works for many years, and if ODOT approves the application then Helm could get funding for the project.
Another road project Kellogg is working with Helm to secure is the expansion of Blue Starr Avenue near Rogers State University.
The effort will be combined with the city of Claremore as a portion of the roadway is in city limits, according to Kellogg.
The funding is dependent on a grant application that is to be submitted by Kellogg later this month.
If approved, Blue Starr will be expanded to three-lane roadway, including a center turn lane.
The expansion will include enhanced drainage features for the area, according to Kellogg.
The commissioners tabled a $400,00 bid for radio equipment for the new E911 center.
Only one bid was received — Motorola, a radio company — that has been one of many vendors working with E911 Administrator Janet Hamilton to equip the facility.
DeLozier said the E911 Trust members will meet Thursday to review the bid.
Commissioners also tabled the auction of old courthouse items. 
Mr. Ed’s Auctions presented a brief estimate of costs associated with the auction. 
Quoting $500 a day fee and 50 percent of the profits, the company representatives said it is difficult to determine the value on any remaining assets. 
Commissioners have consulted auctioneers from across the state to determine the best option available.
The last item for consideration was the renewal of workers compensation insurance for the upcoming fiscal year. 
The county currently purchases approximately $300,000 in insurance yearly from the Association of County Commissioners.
DeLozier said the policy has been the cheapest available to the county, but they have the option to seek bids for the item.
No decision regarding the renewal was made.