Mountain View approves safety system upgrade

BY TOM FONTANA
Correspondent

An upgrade of the security and fire alarm system will be conducted at Mountain View schools during the summer.

Triguard Security (based in Avoca) was hired at the school board meeting Monday night, June 10, to begin rewiring the current system within the next few weeks.

According to district maintenance director Robert Taylor, work on both buildings should be completed by the beginning of the 2013-14 school year.

Triguard earned the job with a lower bid quote than Johnson Controls.

“There was about a $200,000 difference,” Taylor told the board. “That was mostly due to labor costs. Johnson uses union workers at $130 to $140 an hour. Triguard is non-union, so wages are about $50 an hour. Both companies basically offered the same alarm system and security cameras.”

The cost of the upgrade will be $344,700, which will be paid from the district’s capital reserve fund.
Taylor also told the board that it may possibly encounter a bill for $7,000 in the coming weeks, due to the persistent malfunctioning of a part in the schools sewage treatment plant processor.

“The part acts like a garbage disposal,” Taylor explained, “grinding waste. But it’s been failing lately, and this particular unit is no longer manufactured, so we can’t get replacement parts.”

He said the grinder can get jammed by foreign objects things such as paper towels, and the maintenance staff must manually correct the problem sometimes several times a day.

“The funds for a complete new unit are available in the maintenance budget,” Taylor assured the board.
Dave Gerfin, a coach for the Harford/Lenox teen little league, complained to the board that he and his staff have been threatened with a grievance for doing maintenance on the school district field it uses.
“We’ve gone out several times to drain puddles, cut grass and grade the baseball field before games,” he explained. “We used the school’s equipment, but the last time the tools were gone and we were told a grievance would be filed against us. As volunteers, we would bring our own tools from our Harford field, but we’re not allowed to bring them on school property.”

He said he was informed by high school principal Robert Presley and athletic director Jan Price that the maintenance union could file a grievance, as maintenance of school property is a union job.
“There is a contractual agreement with the union for that work,” board president Elwood Williams stated, “so there’s nothing we can do. I hope we can come to some accommodation (about field maintenance) with the union next year.”

In other business, the board approved appointments for several athletic positions for the 2013-14 school year, including Jan Price as athletic director and Roger Thomas as boys varsity soccer coach.
It also appointed Brian Kelly, CPA, of Carbondale as district auditor for the 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-16 school years at an annual rate of $19,950.