Source: Sherman Publications

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Privatization bids: $200K savings, more hours

by Susan Bromley

April 04, 2012

Brandon Twp.- The school board will discuss privatization of custodial services at the next finance committee meeting, planned for 6:30 p.m., April 10, at the central district office, 1025 S. Ortonville Road.

The district has received six bids from companies offering to provide custodial services. Superintendent Lorrie McMahon said of those bids, four companies offered more than $200,000 in savings and two of those companies are also offering 8-10 additional employees over what the district currently has.

Those two companies, D.M. Burr, based in Flint, and GCA, which is Cleveland based, but with a Troy office, are the ones the school board will discuss during the April 10 meeting.

D.M. Burr bid $662,196, while GCA's bid was $689,465. Currently, the cost to the district for maintaining a custodial staff of 16 employees is $906,122 annually, including retirement costs.

McMahon said the retirement benefits are what is most costly to the district.

"We have no choice, we have to pay what we're told to pay for retirement costs by the state of Michigan," she said. "This year, it's a little over 24 percent, next year it will be 27.37 percent. Retirement costs will continue to climb and we have no way to control that."

The district is currently looking at a deficit of $1.3 million for the 2012-2013 school year. The board will soon accept bids for transportation privatization, too.

"We don't have options, that's why we are looking at privatization," she said. "It's not something we want to do, but something that may be forced."