Claremore Daily Progress

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October 4, 2012

Used or Returned? More questions arise about Helm’s road material usage

CLAREMORE — Rogers County Commissioner Mike Helm continues to face scrutiny concerning an $11,034 purchase that was done without following bidding procedures under state statute. 

The purchase order, No. 301164 to Maxwell Supply in Tulsa, was first presented for payment during the Sept. 24 commissioner’s meeting.
Helm presented the item for payment a second time, Monday, 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.
After the credit was applied to the invoice the purchase order was less than the $10,000 bid limit.
The paperwork and timing of the transaction brought forth more questions on Monday as Commissioner Kirt Thacker and citizens at the meeting wanted an explanation for the change.
“Last week when I explained it, I said we opened the road and were doing a mile of road,” Helm said. “Because it exceeded the bid limit by $1,024 we went ahead and took back six rolls for a credit against it.” 
Helm was then questioned about the timing of this transaction.
“I did not get the rolls and we did not finish up the project until Tuesday. We returned it on Thursday and they (Maxwell) made a new invoice,” Helm said.
Benny King, District 2 road foreman, told the Claremore Progress on Wednesday that the road was actually completed approximately two and a half or three weeks ago.
When questioned about the statute requirements and bidding Helm could not explain why the item was not bid, except to say there were three types of fabric.
“I did not know I was going to go over the amount,” Helm said.
Helm claims he does not know the price until he gets the invoice.
Once it came to my attention then we looked to fix it, he said.

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