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Effort to change Ringgold purchasing policy fails

| Thursday, March 18, 2010

A Ringgold School Board director's attempts to change the way the district makes purchases failed.

But it wasn't for a lack of effort.

At last night's school board meeting, Director Chuck Smith said he was upset that the district purchased a Bobcat with an auger and forklift through the state bid list for school districts.

The purchase price was $32,169.66.

Smith said it was always his impression that the district would only use the state bid list as a comparison or in the case of an emergency when a purchase was needed immediately.

Smith chided the district's director of operations and financial services, Randy Skrinjorich, for not putting the purchase up for bid locally.

Smith said Skrinjorich went to the bid list and the district paid $32,000 when "maybe we put it out for bid locally and paid just $28,000."

Smith made a motion that the district put out for bid on its own any purchase item over $10,000 with the stipulation that the state bid list would be used for just comparison and items would only be purchased from it in cases of emergency.

Skrinjorich said such a general motion would not be possible to adhere to because he is not qualified to put together specifications for many purchases.

After a sometimes heated debate over the motion, the idea was voted down.

Board President Denise Kuhn then attempted to go on to the next topic but Smith made a similar motion that upped the threshold for mandatory bidding to $15,000.

That motion died for lack of a second.

Smith then said, "OK, how about $20,000?"

Kuhn said she wanted to go on with the agenda and Smith replied, "I can make motions all night if I want to."

However, Kuhn said the board was moving on to the next topic.

In other business, the board:

• Approved a motion to advertise for a proposal from potential construction managers for the proposed Ringgold Elementary South project at the former Carroll Middle School.

• Approved a motion to pay the Carroll Township Authority $51,324 to tap into the sewage line and any other modifications needed for the Ringgold Elementary School South project.

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