Privatizing C-A custodial services being considered

FLINT TWP. — Bids responding to a Request for Proposals (RFPs) for custodial services were due back this week to Carman-Ainsworth school district administrators.

It is the third year that the district has considered contracting out custodial services. Last year, RFPs were solicited for bus driver and custodial services but after serious consideration and contract negotiations, the board opted not

The board will adopt to follow through. its 2013-14 budget Last year’s outsourcing effort drew a large group in June. If accepted, of bus drivers, in particular, the outsourced to school board meetings custodial contract to plead for their jobs. would become effective The board made it clear starting July 1. then that it had few options but to consider outsourcing services due to budget constraints. The district’s budget outlook this year has not improved.

This year’s call for RFPs for custodial services, which were due April 10, specified that the contractor provide 48,000 hours of service Monday through Friday on school days and for specified hours four days a week during summer.

Specifications also stipulated that no services will be needed for two weeks in July nor for major holidays and also Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve and the Friday after Thanksgiving.

A base pay rate of $14.82 per hour is stipulated and the contractor would be responsible for supervision of custodians. Additionally, the RFPs asked for financial quotes regarding direct cost of hospitalization for 24 custodians and other fringe benefits.

Last year, C-A officials received responses from 10 companies interested in the custodial contract. The field was narrowed to four that were interviewed then down to two finalists – DM Burr, based in Flint Township, and CSM, based in Hudsonville.

Then and now, the district reserves the right to reject all proposals, according to its RFP specs.

Last year, the privatizing issue got as far as the board authorizing Superintendent Steve Tunnicliff to consider provision of services from both the existing group of employees and from private contractors.

C-A is among many school districts looking at privatization to reduce costs.

With more money going out than coming in, the budgeting trend has been to use the general fund balance to make up the difference.

Audits reports last November indicated that the district’s unassigned general fund balance will dwindle to about $835,000 as of June 30 this year, down from a $3.1 million as of June 30, 2012 and considerably less than a $7.5 million reserve a few years ago.

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