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County, school system change benefit provider
Grant Swallows, mask.jpg
Director of Schools Grant Swallows leads by example and wears a facemask.

The Warren County School Board voted unanimously Tuesday night to accept a bid from Five Points Benefits Solutions to administer payroll and voluntary benefits for school system employees.

The county Financial Management Committee followed that move on Wednesday by unanimously voting to go with Five Points for the same services.

Scott Haile & Co. had provided those services for school and county employees for the past several years. 

“I hate to go away from a company that has done a good job and has done really good work for our school system, but at the end of the day if you look at the comparison sheet, financially for us this is going to be about a $32,000 savings,” said Director of Schools Grant Swallows during the School Board meeting conducted via Zoom video conference.

The school system put out a request for proposal and eight companies submitted bids. 

A special committee consisting of Swallows, County Executive Jimmy Haley, Road Superintendent Levie Glenn, director of finance Justin Cotten, and Warren County schools compliance manager Mary Jennifer Dunlap discussed the bids. 

The group then requested presentations from the companies they rated as the top three, which were Scott Haile & Co., McGriff and Associates of Cookeville, and Five Points of Franklin.

“Scott Haile & Co., has done fantastic work for our school system,” Swallows said during the School Board meeting. “It boils down to, with this bid, Five Points was able to put together a package that offers our school system a lot of different things that we are already doing and paying separately for.”

Five Points began in 1988 as an insurance brokerage and benefits consultancy with a focus on schools and governments.

“I think Five Points has about 60 school systems throughout the state of Tennessee they currently work with and we feel really good about that,” said Swallows.

Swallows then offered to answer any questions School Board members had.

“Is this more technologically advanced?” asked Helen Martin.

“Yes, it does offer us a number of things and I think to work more efficiently we really feel like this is the way to go for us,” Swallows replied.

School Board member James Bennett enquired as to the length of the contract and Swallows explained it is a three-year contract with two additional options for a one-year renewal. 

“Did you ask Five Points to go back and recheck their figures and make sure they didn’t leave something out?” asked School Board member Bill Zechman. “A $32,000 savings obviously seems very attractive on the surface. I’d just like to know if they’ve had a chance to go back and revisit their proposal.”

Swallows explained the savings is due to services Five Points is including in the bid for which the county is now paying extra.

Zechman moved to approve the recommendation to transfer to Five Points and Martin seconded it. 

Chairman Tanya Bess put it to a vote and the motion passed unanimously.