MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

July 1, 2010

Ticking clock nixes cleaning bid; county may reconsider

By Liz McMahan
Phoenix Staff Writer

— Seconds may count in whether a bid for janitorial service at the county courthouse and annex is accepted, officials said Thursday.

Barbara Stiger of Jani-Klean had the apparent low bid — $2,692 per month — for cleaning the two county buildings.

The only other bid received was $3,100 per month from B&B Cleaning, the company that has had the cleaning contract for the last year.

At a special meeting Thursday, county commissioners rejected Stiger’s bid and awarded the contract to B&B after courthouse maintenance supervisor Bobby Tripp said the Jani-Klean bid was filed after the 9:30 a.m. Monday bid deadline.

Employees of the County Clerk’s Office said Stiger had submitted a bid ahead of the deadline and came into their office Monday morning, retrieved her original bid and submitted a new one. They marked the bid received at 9:30 a.m.

However, District Attorney Larry Moore said he is researching whether the deadline was met. A 9:30 a.m. time stamp could mean the second bid was received at 10 seconds after 9:30 or 50 seconds after 9:30, that it didn’t necessarily mean it was on file at exactly 9:30.

Plus, officials are unclear on whether a bidder can withdraw a bid once it is filed. It’s not unusual for bidders to submit a supplemental bid, but they generally don’t take back their first sealed bid, said County Commissioner Gene Wallace.

Stiger said her second bid was for the same dollar amount as her first offer. After turning it in, she began thinking she had left off an employer identification number and social security number, sealed it in an envelope and took it to the clerk’s office and switched envelopes. She said she made certain the envelope was time stamped.

County commissioners may reconsider the janitorial bids next week, but that doesn’t ensure that Stiger’s firm will be awarded the cleaning contract, Moore said.

State law allows officials to accept “the lowest and best” bid. With just cause, they can exclude a bid if they choose to do so.

Stiger said she has had the courthouse cleaning contract before, but was outbid last year by B&B, a company formed by former employees. She said she had no problem with the county awarding them the contract last year when their bid was lowest.

The janitorial bids were among several opened at the commissioners’ special meeting Thursday. Others were:

• Lawn mowing and trimming at courthouse — Ulysses Washington of Tulsa bid $72 per cutting; Professional Cleaning Concepts of Muskogee bid $52 per cutting and was awarded the contract.

• Ballot printing — Royal Printing was sole bidder and awarded contract.

• Asphalt, three miles of 2.5-inch material on Coffee Road between Warner and Webbers Falls — Glover Construction of Muskogee was awarded contract at $216,616.19. Other bidders were Smith Paving, $238,917; Patton Construction, $247,670; and Tulsa Asphalt, $236,821.20.

• Elevator maintenance — Kone Elevators was awarded the contract for $11,808 per year. Other bids were $14,040 from Otis Elevator Co.; and $21,600 from ThyssenKrupp Elevators.

• Awarded contract for 2010 Ford Expedition to Jim Norton Ford, which bid $30,242. Other bid was from James Hodge Ford, for $32,541. Vehicle is for Mountain View Fire Department.

Reach Liz McMahan at 684-2926 or lmcmahan@muskogeephoenix.com.