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U-46 reviews, approves series of expenditures

By Seth Hancock
  The Board of Education in School District U-46 heard expenditure proposals totaling $565,422 to be voted on at its upcoming Monday, June 5 meetings, and it also approved over $600,000 in proposals at its meeting on Monday, May 15.
  Proposed that evening was $138,750, from the operations and maintenance fund, with School Dude for a three-year contract renewal.
  The administration did not seek a bid and board member Phil Costello asked if their were any other options for strategic planning metric measuring, which is the use of School Dude according to the proposal.
  “We’re so ingrained with this application for the work order system, and for the other modules that relate to energy monitoring and tracking,” said Bruce Phelps, interim director of business services. The district has been using it since 2005, but Phelps said the district “will consider” other options in the future.
  Costello asked if there was an increase from the prior contract which Phelps said was around $7,000 more. Board member Melissa Owens asked if there were “significant savings” from a three-year contract and Phelps said U-46 will “maintain the price for three years, whereas everyone else who has a one-year contract is going to see annual increases.”
  A $112,500 expenditure with Golden Apple, which would be paid for by the nation’s taxpayers through Title I funds if approved, would provide professional development “around inquiry based science” according to that proposal.
  The proposal is to purchase spots for 75 staff members and board member Sue Kerr asked: “Do we get reimbursed if there’s say 50?” Trisha Shrode, director of curriculum and instruction, said: “We are actually only charged for the amount that participate. They have the capacity to accept up to 75, so we wanted to approve the maximum allowable.”
  To be paid through the food and nutrition fund if approved are a $119,370 bid with Alpha Baking Company to purchase bread products, a $115,704 bid with Hershey Ice Cream Company to buy ice cream products and a $79,098 bid split between Home Juice Corp. and Pepsi Beverage Company to purchase beverage products.
  There were two bids on the bread with Turano Baking Company being nearly double that of Alpha at $218,105, and Costello asked if there was any “confusion about the bid specs” to which Claudie Phillips, director of food and nutrition services, said “they just bid it high.”
  According to the proposal with Hershey, the ice cream products are a revenue generator which “will contribute to meeting the financial goals of the Food and Nutrition Services Department for the 2017-2018 School Year.”
  Costello inquired about how much revenue is earned and “does it cover the cost of the food,” and Phillips said the district has “like a 40 percent markup.”
  Approved that evening all by unanimous vote were a one-year contract renewal with HERO ($88,258) coming out of the education fund, a one-year agreement with Solution Tree ($27,000) to be paid for through Title I and II funds, a two-year contract with Sprint ($119,971) out of the education fund, a bid with Forms Plastics ($215,196) from the food and nutrition fund and a bid with Valor Technologies, Inc. ($202,000) out of the capital projects and the operations and maintenance funds.
  Also approved by 7-0 vote were $6.2 million in itemized bills.



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