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June 17, 2014

Courthouse parking lot or not

CLAREMORE —

The Rogers County Courthouse parking lot remains unfinished as commissioners Dan DeLozier and Kirt Thacker voted Monday to have it asphalted this week.
Commissioner Mike Helm did not support the motion, telling Thacker and DeLozier,  “you are not going to tell me when” the work will be done.
The three commissioners have been unable to finalize the details to complete the parking lot. 
DeLozier has received estimates for the work, in an effort to move the project forward. 
Weather delays, funding questions and the suggestion to change the parking lot surface from asphalt to concrete have postponed the effort.
The $1.2 million project was set to be completed in March 2013, three months after bids were accepted in December 2012.  
Flintco Construction, project managers for the parking lot plaza, is listed weekly on the commissioners’ agenda, but stopped attending the meetings months ago.
The commissioners decided to perform part of the work on the project themselves, in order to save money. Now, taxpayers are questioning why it is taking so long.
Helm has pushed for the commissioners to concrete the lot instead of using the asphalt machine his district owns.
On Monday, Helm said he would like to see what the cost of the “mud” or concrete would be.
“If the mud will be $150,000, then we can lay it,” Helm said.  He suggested the county work together, each district pitching in crew members to finish the parking lot with concrete, not asphalt.
“Northeast Tech is all concrete. It is a nice looking finish,” Helm said.  “We can do it. We just have to wait for it to dry out.”
“There is something to be said about getting it done,” Thacker said.  “Let’s asphalt it and get it done.”
“We can’t asphalt in the rain,” Helm said.
The cost of materials from Tulsa Asphalt is approximately $113,000 to haul it, said DeLozier.
Then, Helm would need to use his machine to finish it. The parking lot could be done this week using this option, according to DeLozier.
“We can do it when it finishes raining and it dries out,” Helm said.
Thacker and DeLozier voted to asphalt the parking lot starting Wednesday. Helm disagreed and showed no signs the work would begin according to Thacker and DeLozier’s request.

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