Webster Parish School Board exploring cheaper options to purchase materials

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Cheaper options have been opened up for the Webster Parish School Board to purchase the materials they need.

In Monday’s board meeting, members unanimously approved entering The Interlocal Purchasing System, a program that gives the board an additional option to purchase materials and equipment, everything from paper to school busses at competitive prices.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Dan Rawls explained TIPS, emphasizing it does not cost a dime to be a part of the program; the only stipulation is if the state contract is cheaper, then they must choose the state contract.

“TIPS was approved by state statute last year to offer service of low bids in quantity,” he said. “You can go to this large conglomerate that gives you special prices by buying in large quantity.”

School Board Member John Madden, district 6, showed some concern, saying he didn’t want to take away from local businesses if unnecessary.

“Typically, we always bid it out locally with the exception of the parish purchasing vehicles, and with that we have to go with the state contract,” he said. “My only reservation is I don’t want our local people…to go out of business because they can’t compete.”

Rawls said any vendor who wishes to participate in the program may do so, whether they are local or from out of state.
In other news, the school board:

Approved Consolidated Electronics, Inc. to install an intercom for temporary buildings at J.L. Jones Elementary, for $5,126, using the district 6 half-cent sales tax.

Approved the attendance of the Title I supervisor/director and any interested Title I principals to attend the 2017 National Title I Conference in Long Beach, California Feb. 21 through 25, 2017.

Approved Kodiak Sports LLC to install a rubber floor at Lakeside Jr./Sr. High School’s weight room for $7,476.72, using the Consolidated 3 Maintenance Fund.

Approved to pay LED Display Repairs for replacing the damaged logic board at Central Elementary for $1,200, using Consolidated 3 Maintenance Fund.

Approved Mechanical Cooling Services to replace one 5-ton gas heat unit at Lakeside for $5,390, using Consolidated 3 Maintenance Fund.

Approved a change order for $10,330 authorizing additions and alterations to J.A. Phillips Middle School and Webster Jr. High School, which include seven fire extinguishers, a gymnasium door and associated stoop at Phillips and the relocation of a water line at WJHS.

Approved Horizon Mechanical, Inc., to install copper pipe and fittings to replace the hot water return line and insulation at North Webster Lower Elementary, for $19,300, using the Shongaloo Building Fund.

A finance committee meeting has been set for 5 p.m., Nov. 29. The next school board meeting will be at 6 p.m., Monday, Dec. 5.

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