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The Examiner U-46 News Feed

District U-46 Board to vote on pair of proposals


By Seth Hancock
  The Board of Education in School District U-46 is set to vote on a pair of expenditure items totaling $329,303 at its upcoming meeting on Monday, Nov. 4. The items were presented on Oct. 21.
  Included is a $188,239 expenditure, to come from the education fund, if approved, with Connection Public Sector for three years of anti-virus software.
  The proposal states: “Kaspersky is the current anti-virus software for the district. Features include real-time protection, detection and removal of viruses, trojans, worms, spyware, adware, keyloggers, malicious tools and auto-dialers, as well as detection and removal of rootkits. It also includes instantaneous automatic updates via the Kaspersky Security Network service.”
  Also set for a vote is a $141,064 proposal, to come from the operations and maintenance fund, if approved, for snow removal services. The proposal is split between three contractors: Valley Enterprises ($80,580), KCG Management ($38,484) and TNT Landscape Construction ($22,000).
  The contract will last for three years with a possible three-year extension.
  U-46 split up the district into 10 regions and previously had one contractor for seven zones which included 23 schools which led to issues.
  “The additional snow removal services are required to assure that the schools are cleared in a timely manner,” the proposal states. “These services have been contracted multiple times and are being rebid. It is in the best interest of the district to have multiple contractors with fewer zones per contractor due to issues in the past with one contractor having a large portion of the work.”
  It adds: “On two occasions when school was called due to weather conditions they pulled off our schools and would not come back until just before school opened again, leaving us to try and clear those facilities in-house. They did return and do the work that remained and the quality was subpar. They were written up on both occasions. Last year when it snowed at the end of April they refused to come back out stating that they were done for the year and yet they were observed clearing at other corporate accounts.”
  Board member Melissa Owens noted that KCG came in with the lowest bid on every region with a total cost of $109,194, nearly $32,000 less than the presented contract. She said she understood why the district wants several contractors but asked how the district determined who got what region considering some regions awarded to Valley were “considerably higher” than KCG, one being over $10,000 more.
  Sheila Downs, director of plant operations, said that “although cost is one of the variables that we considered, there’s a lot of factors that go into that.”
  Downs said “Valley is a much bigger outfit, so that was one consideration,” while geography was also a consideration. She said the district did not want one contractor servicing more than two high schools.

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