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Board of Ed looks at reverse auctions

October 31, 2012
By J.T. Whitehouse , Town Crier

At the October Canfield Board of Education meeting, board members heard about reverse auctions and the hope it could save money on the district's fuel bills. Business manager Rich Archer said other districts that use the service have been saving 10 to 14 percent by having companies compete for business.

"It is possible we could save 10 to 14 percent through a reverse auction and getting more bidders to come in," Archer said. "Currently, we spend about $143,000 per year on fuel to run our buses."

The company Archer researched is called eBridge Global. The company specializes in reverse auctions where product and service providers compete in a 30-minute live auction for companies and school districts.

"The company has been around for over 30 years and is widely used by big companies and corporations," Archer said.

He explained that eBridge has lists of providers in almost every category of services and products that are needed. When an auction request is placed, eBridge goes into its lists and informs companies that might like to bid. When the 30-minute auction begins, the companies can start posting their bids and compete with each other to offer the lowest price. The auction ends three minutes after the last bid is posted.

"We want to see how we will do on fuel through this auction," Archer said, "but we could use it for more."

He said items such as trash service, uniforms, mops, linens, and other supplies the district purchases annually could be submitted for auction.

He also commented that the reverse auction wouldn't cost the district anything. He said the bidders pay eBridge a fee to be able to bid and that's how it makes its money.

While the reverse auction would save the district money, Superintendent Alex Geordan commented on some upcoming legislation that could cost all Ohio school districts.

"There could be legislation in the governor's budget (for 2013) that would take local tax dollars and send them with students attending an open enrollment school district," he said.

He said in Canfield it takes more than $8,000 per year to educate a student. If the legislation is in the budget, it would send the state school foundation funds with a student who attends a school outside the district. It would also require the local tax dollars to go with them, which means the balance of the $8,000-plus would have to be sent with the student. He said people need to watch for this and contact their legislators to keep local tax money in the local district.

In other business:

The board approved resignations for fifth- and sixth-grade drama teacher Kandace Cleland effective at the end of the school year, and bus driver George Chichak, effective Oct. 31.

The board approved the hiring of Dolores Sullivan as van aide; Karen Bouch as van driver; and Cheryl DeSellem as bus driver.

A resolution was adopted declaring transportation to listed schools as impractical. The list included Akiva Academy, Mollie Kessler, Youngstown Christian, St. Joseph Immaculate Heart of Mary, Holy Family and Montessori School of the Mahoning Valley.

Field trips were approved for the high school speech and debate team to travel to Sylvania, in January to take part in the Sylvania Invitational Tournament and for the high school baseball team to travel to Myrtle Beach, S.C., to participate in a baseball tournament. Both trips were providing the transportation and lodging are covered by an outside organization.

The board agreed to change the November board meeting to 6:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 19.

 
 

 

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