Claremore Daily Progress

December 21, 2012

Road fabric bid brings closure

Salesha Wilken
Staff Reporter

CLAREMORE — The issue regarding the need to bid the purchase of road fabric may be resolved after the Rogers County Commissioners accepted bids Monday.

The board awarded the lone bid to Maxwell Supply.
Concern for following bidding procedures when purchasing road geotextile fabric stemmed from Commissioner Mike Helm’s $11,034 purchase earlier this year.
The purchase order, No. 301164 to Maxwell Supply in Tulsa, was first presented for payment during the Sept. 24 commissioner’s meeting.
However, the item was not approved for weeks due to complications with the paperwork.
Helm presented the item for payment a second time, only this time the P.O. reflected a credit of $2,283. The credit was applied to Helm’s account after six rolls of the road fabric were returned on Sept. 27 in order to bring the purchase below the $10,000. 
The product return was done by District 2 Foreman Benny King upon Helm’s instruction, in an attempt to be inline with state purchasing guidelines.
The entire purchase became a topic for discussion during several meetings in which officials tried to determine if the product needed to bid in the future.
Ultimately, the commissioners along with Assistant District Attorney David Iski concluded the item would be bid in the future.
The board sent the item for bids mailing bid packages to six local companies.
Maxwell Supply bid the product with a unit price of $435.09 a roll.
Helm had purchased the product at $380.50 a roll in August starting the controversy.
Representatives with Maxwell Supply said the cost difference is due to a discount that is applied after the purchase of 10 or more rolls.
The bid documents did not include the discount and it is unclear if it will apply to future purchases with the company.
The issues with bidding procedures is what prompted an OSBI investigation into the actions of Helm and Commissioner Kirt Thacker.
That investigation is ongoing.