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TMCNet:  Board goes ahead and back in its purchases

[February 15, 2013]

Board goes ahead and back in its purchases

WAURIKA, Feb 13, 2013 (Waurika News-Democrat - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- Showing some acrobatic flexibility Monday night, members of the Waurika District 23 Board of Education moved ahead and also went backward in addressing two issues involving bond funds.


The board unanimously agreed to take steps forward by approving the purchase of computer stations and other technology equipment Waurika voters supported in a bond issue election in August 2012.

Earlier in the meeting, though, board members backed up and revisited the issue of a pickup truck to be used by the vocational agriculture program and FFA chapter, a purchase also approved in the bond issue election.

It was the third time the pickup truck item had been on recent agendas. Previously, the board had directed Superintendent Roxie Terry to take bids for a vehicle capable of transporting a new livestock trailer purchased by the FFA and which could be used for other vo-ag activities.

Initially, Terry proposed buying a half-ton truck and add-ons at a total cost of $30,000, but a vote on that vehicle was tabled when board members decided a larger truck would be more stable.

In a special meeting in January, Terry proposed buying a 1 ton pickup and add-ons from Conner Auto Group and board members voted unanimously to approve using the $30,000 for that purchase.

However, a group of citizens recently approached the administration and board members with a new proposal: Buy an 2013 Silverado 3500 Crew Cab that had more accessories and add-ons than the vehicle approved in January. Members of the group also said they would cover the difference in purchasing a higher-level vehicle.

About a dozen members people attended Monday's meeting in the library at Waurika High/Middle School, led by spokesperson Scott Cathey.

Cathey, who was among citizens participating in constructing proposals for the bond issue election, told board members when the bond issue was created "the purpose was to buy as nice an ag truck as possible. The same with the athletic bus or activity bus." "Whether it's the ag truck or the activities bus," Cathey added, "we want our children to have something they can be proud of." He said he group was willing to assist in making that financially possible.

Since an item for purchasing a new bus was not on the agenda, action on the matter was taken during new business.

At that time, with Terry outlining the process, the board unanimously approved three motions: - Declaring the pickup purchased in January to be surplus and return it to Conner Auto Group.

- Accepting a donation of $11,199 from the citizens group, which would be placed in the General Fund and used to make up the difference between the new purchase and original purchase.

- Accept a bid from Conner to purchase the 2013 Silverado 3500, with a list of accessories and add-ons.

"I personally don't think using tax-payer money for 'duelies' and diesel engines is right, when we can get a perfectly good pickup for what we agreed on," board President Ronnie Morgan noted before the vote. "But, I'm willing to take money from (the citizen support group) if they're willing to donate it." Earlier, the board addressed beginning to purchase the technology upgrades that were part of Proposition 2 in the bond issue election. Specifically, the board moved forward on obtaining computers, monitors and other equipment that would be used in computer labs at Waurika High/Middle School and Waurika Elementary School.

There was some urgency in making those purchases, because the equipment is needed for end-of-year testing that begins in the district in April.

Terry received bids from Omega Technology Center Inc., Industry Systems LLC and Greenwood's Computers, with the bids broken down into base bids and add-ons.

Omega Technology's base bid was $564 apiece for 78 processor/monitor stations, with the bid rising to $639 per station for add-ons, such as additional ram and larger monitors. Industry Systems base bid was $699.35 per station, with an increase to $714 with add-ons, while Greenwood's base bid was $637.63 per station, with the bid rising to $714.22 with add-ons.

Terry recommended the bid from Omega Technology. "The total for 25 computer stations and one each for three teachers is $49,842 if we accept the bid from Omega," he noted. "We will have to take out the old computers, but (an Omega representative) said they'll do everything else.

"He said they will have the system up and running in six weeks, which is plenty of time before the testing period." Board members voted unanimously to accept the Omega bid.

___ (c)2013 Waurika News-Democrat (Waurika, Okla.) Visit Waurika News-Democrat (Waurika, Okla.) at waurikanewsdemocrat.com Distributed by MCT Information Services

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