KEOSAUQUA — The Van Buren Community School Board voted to choose J&S Electronics as the vendor of the new phone system for the Keosauqua center during the meeting Aug. 21.
Depending on the package, cost to the district will be around $22,000. The motion stipulated that more information would be presented to the board.
The other bidder was Telecom Services of Iowa, Inc., whose bid was $21,820.00.
The new phone system would use digital/VOIP telecommunication technology. Otherwise, it works similar to a land line-based system. The board tried out the new system during the board meeting, talking with representatives from both companies. Board members stated the advantages of working with J&S, including the proximity and previous experience it has working with J&S.
The board discussed expanding the proposal to the Douds school, which is served by Windstream.
In other business:
• Troy Sedore addressed the board regarding his waste removal business. Superintendent Pam Ewell discussed developing specifications for an RFP for when the current contract ends between the district and Waste Management. It was tabled until Wednesday's special meeting. Sedore told the board that recycling programs save money.
“A recycling program dropped one of our company’s costs from $65,000 to $11,000,” said Sedore.
• Administration was pleased with the work done by maintenance staff over the summer break getting the school ready for this fall.
• Ewell presented a 28E Agreement between Van Buren and Harmony regarding band and choir. There are six Harmony students interested in taking classes at Van Buren. The board approved the agreement and it will run from through June 30, 2014, automatically renewing if sharing the program is of interest to both districts.
• There are seven new high school students and six new middle school students, according to principal Chuck Banks.
• The board heard an update on the new Kunos tablets that are being incorporated this year. The tablets are paid for by the PPEL account.
• Board voted to change the professional development that was scheduled for Sept. 27 to Sept. 30.
• New hires: Karen Shirk, TAG teacher; Eliza Schaeffer, kindergarten paraprofessional; Monica Chapuis, kindergarten paraprofessional; Diane Countryman, secondary paraprofessional;
• A total of 28 student-athletes were out for varsity and junior varsity football. There are six JV games scheduled. Because of the low numbers, the athletic department will monitor the situation as it relates to the JV schedule.
• The press box is getting completed. It is the goal to have it ready to go for the first football home game, September 6, against West Burlington.
• The board received a proposal from Matt Hesler and Kirkhart Trenching and Skid Loader, LLC, for improvements on the baseball field. The work involves work on the infield to allow for better drainage, raising the sprinklers and then re-sodding it. The baseball team would provide some of the labor with re-sodding the infield, as part of the quote. The proposal was presented by Stan Whitten, board member.
Board President Kara McEntee wanted “to make it fair for other vendors” and allow them to present a proposal. Under the board policy, projects under $5,000 are not necessarily required to be bid out. Board member Steingreaber asked if there was enough time to contact all the possible vendors and secure a bid.
The district will contact some others before approval is made.