Belding to contract custodial services as needed

By Jessica Beery • Last Updated 6:25 pm on Thursday, September 22, 2011

BELDING – Belding Area Schools hopes to save some money by contracting out some noninstructional services.

Superintendent Leslie Mount told the school board and audience during Monday evening’s board meeting that, as a result of the Best Practices guidelines for additional funding, the district put out bids for two noninstructional services – food services and custodial services.

Mount explained the district was not required to accept outside bids, but the savings of doing so through attrition would add up significantly without affecting current employees.

With one custodian recently retiring, the district bid out for custodial services and received four bids. The Belding Education Support Personnel Association declined to submit a bid.

Hi-Tec Building Services, headquartered in Jenison, turned in the lowest bid.

“This will create about a $40,000 savings for the district,” Mount said, explaining that the retiring employee has a long history with the district.

Mount said that bidding out noninstructional services isn’t a direction “the district is exactly excited about” but makes real economic sense.

“Hi-Tec comes with very good reviews too,” she said.

The district also plans to look at food service contracts at next month’s meeting, because two employees are either resigning or retiring. Board President Tom Humphreys and Mount said current custodians and food service employees seem to understand the district’s reasoning for soliciting bids while keeping the current employee contracts a priority.

“I think they’re glad we’re not going the whole way, affecting current employees,” Humphreys said.

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