Claremore Daily Progress

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August 9, 2012

County road striping costly affair

Failure to follow statute costs taxpayers double

CLAREMORE — Rogers County commissioners continue to face questions regarding the findings of State Auditor Gary Jones.

The commissioners violated state statute, according to the recently report released, by not bidding for road striping services.
The service was considered “commonly used services” and therefore,  county officials did not believe it required a bid.
As a result, Rogers County paid more for services than when they were competitively bid.
All counties in Oklahoma are required to bid for services that exceed $10,000.
During 2009, commissioners Mike Helm and Kirt Thacker used the services on almost a monthly basis without seeking bids.
The purchase orders for the service varied between $9,400 and $9,993 from January to December 2009.
Although, the individual purchase orders were under $10,000; they still met the state statute requirements for bidding and therefore should have been properly bid prior to purchase, according to the auditor’s report.
“The county paid more for the service per linear foot, when not bidding for a commonly used service. These purchases are in violation of the state statutes,” the audit states.
The purchases that were not bid were performed at a price of .3376 cents per linear foot, but after receiving the bid the company charged .065 cents per linear foot, per the auditor’s report.
In 2010, county officials found an error noting that no bid had been put in place for the services with Time Striping Inc., a company based in Van Buren, Ark.
The item was then opened for bid after the county spent approximately $98,000 with the company in 2009.
After bidding the service the same company not only received the bid, but then proceeded to charge the county twice as much as the previous rate.
Time Striping was awarded the bid at $.065 per linear foot, which was the lowest bid price, according to the minutes of the Jan. 11, 2010 meeting.
The company proceeded to conduct business with the county under this bid charging approximately half as much as they did during 2009.

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