By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
School board chooses Durham
Placeholder Image
The Warren County School Board chose to privatize the school system’s transportation department Thursday night by entering into a contract with Durham School Services, a private company based in Warrensville, Ill.The decision came after the board reviewed three proposals, including the one from Durham, one from current transportation director Melissa Orrick and a last minute proposal from Warren County government.The board’s move toward privatization, which was discovered after bids were posted in the Southern Standard last month, did not sit well with commissioners and County Executive John Pelham, eventually leading to the county’s offer to take over the transportation department. The county, with the help of Director of Schools Dr. Jerry Hale, subsequently drew up a resolution outlining its proposal, which passed 22-1 at a special meeting of the commission Monday night and was presented to the School Board Tuesday morning.At the regular monthly meeting of the School Board Thursday night School Board member Scott Holmes made the motion to go with Durham.“We’ve all looked at each of the three proposals that have been presented to us,” Holmes said. “After looking at the proposals I think at this time the most beneficial thing would be to make a motion to accept the proposal from Durham School Services, and that’s my motion.”The School Board voted unanimously to go with Durham.Some of the reasons cited for the move were the inefficiency of the current transportation system, safety considerations and the potential cost savings presented to the school system by the utilization of Durham’s bulk purchasing advantages as the nation’s second largest school transportation service.Although the county’s proposal was given serious consideration, some board members felt the added responsibility of operating the transportation system, with the maintenance of a large number of vehicles, plus taking on around 60 new county employees, might eventually put an undue strain on the county’s resources, considering the current financial situation the county is facing, with a lawsuit and possible wheel tax referendum pending.