SSC awarded school district’s custodial contract

Published 9:41 am Monday, July 10, 2017

Making decisions on new contracts for services is often a routine matter for most governmental agencies.

There is the request for bids, the receiving of bids, the opening of bids, the evaluation of bids, the recommendation and then, the approval of that recommendation.

While often a routine process, the Vicksburg Warren School District had anything but a routine approval of some of the bids they were recently presented.

The service that caused the most question, and resulted in the longest discussion, was the review and approval of the recommendation for custodial services for the system’s facilities.

In her presentation to the board, and issuing the recommendation, VWSD Director of Financial Operations Shaquita Burke laid out a detailed review process that led the administration is recommending Nashville-based SSC Services as the new vendor for custodial services in the system.

The process, Burke said, was not just based on the vendor with the lowest price, but awarded points to each of the five companies vying for the business based in 11 areas. Price was just one of those areas.

In the end, SSC outscored ABBO Co., GCA Service Group, Cleaner Than Clean and ServiceMaster.

ServiceMaster had held the contract through the end of June.

“After evaluating the rubric and the information from the administration, it was not a hard decision for me,” Board president Bryan Pratt said.

But, Pratt was alone in that thought.

During the discussion, board members Joe Loviza, Alonso Stevens and James Stirgus Jr., at times challenged the notion the board did not have to choose the less expensive.

SSC’s bid, which was for a two-year contract, totaled $1.37 million. The lowest bid was from GCA Service Group for $1.15 million, but the company scored below SSC in the overall review.

Board attorney Briggs Hobson said the board does not have to choose the lowest price, if the recommendation from the administration is based on detailed factors.

Stirgus continued to debate the recommendation, saying he was worried if the SSC would keep current custodial personnel when taking over the contract and would keep them at their current rate of pay.

Only after representatives of SSC said they would look to keep on any current custodial personnel if they cleared the company’s background review and other human resource requirements, and would keep them at their current rate of pay.

After those assurances, the board ultimately approved the recommendation to award SSC the bid.

SSC began their contract with the system effective July 1.

About Tim Reeves

Tim Reeves, and his wife Stephanie, are the parents of three children, Sarah Cameron, Clayton and Fin, who all attend school in the Vicksburg Warren School District. The family are members of First Baptist Church Vicksburg. Tim is involved in a number of civic and volunteer organizations including the United Way of West Central Mississippi and serves on the City of Vicksburg's Riverfront Redevelopment Committee.

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