Archive for Wednesday, February 28, 2007

District ends purchasing program; board OKs final payment to member

February 28, 2007

As of last week, the Tonganoxie school district has discontinued its competitive purchasing program.

Tonganoxie school Superintendent Richard Erickson said the purchasing program was discontinued because of complaints voiced by district patrons.

"As a superintendent, I want there to be peace and contentment with all cost-saving measures in the school district," Erickson said.

In the program, school board member Darlyn Hansen's firm, Micro Resources, shopped for the school district, searching for lower prices on needed equipment during the district's $25.3 million construction project.

A November 2006 report complied by Superintendent Richard Erickson showed Hansen had purchased $487,654 worth of items for the district at a savings of $209,127. Since June 2005, Hansen's firm was paid about $96,000 for consulting fees, which included research and staging.

At the Feb. 12 school board meeting, board members postponed approving $8,339 worth of warrants from Hansen's firm. Of that, $3,272, or 39 percent, was for consulting fees.

Board members approved the warrants for Hansen's firm at Wednesday's meeting.

While construction at the new middle school and high school is complete, construction won't wrap up at the elementary school until midsummer.

Erickson expressed gratitude for the work Hansen did for the district.

"I will always be indebted to Mr. Hansen for the incredible savings that he produced for USD 464 and for his expertise in the development of future cost savings plans for the school district."

Erickson said he also appreciated school board members for their willingness to go along with the program, which started up in the summer of 2005.

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