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D230 board justifies not taking lowest bid on yearbook, auditing services

The Consolidated High School District 230 board has approved a host of purchases for the 2012-13 school year and beyond.

With two of those purchases, the board wasn’t bound to accept the lowest bid, and it ended up choosing slightly higher bids for yearbook services from 2013-2015 and audit services for fiscal years ending 2012 through 2014.

Because those two areas fall under professional services, the district does not legally have to seek bids for them. But district officials decided to see what the best deal was out there, said district spokeswoman Carla Erdey.

The board on April 26 agreed to a three-year agreement with Missouri-based Walsworth Yearbooks for a cost of $28 per book in 2013, $28.56 in 2014 and $29.13 in 2015.

Assistant Superintendent for Business Services Steve Langert said Walsworth’s bids were lower than in recent years. This year, the district paid the company $29.75 per book.

“You have confidence in your provider,” Langert said. “If they are doing a great job, are you going to fire them over a small amount of money? Are you going to fire someone who has been doing your yearbook for more than 15 years for a company you don’t know? There is a risk to change.”

Erdey added that teachers and students would need more time and training on a new software system if the district made the switch.

For audit services, the board approved to keep the Joliet-based Wermer, Rogers, Doan and Ruzon LLC group for a total of $74,700 over three years. Baker Tilly Virchow Krause LLP came in with a $72,000 bid and Mulcahy, Pauritsch, Salvador and Co. LTD came in at $73,300.

Langert said the district had used Wermer, Rogers for three years and is satisfied with its work and said the Joliet group reduced its yearly charge from the past three years. He added that there are risks to change and that it’s better to stay with a group that is already familiar with the district rather than starting anew.

In other business, the board renewed its contract with the Alpha School Bus Co. at a 2 percent rate increase.

The board also approved the Warehouse Direct Office Supplies bid of $79,595.22 for office supplies and Wacker Hardware of Chicago’s bid of $38.747.70 for lock cylinder renovations for Andrew High School.

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