Barre school board puts new phones on holdOctober 09,2012
By David Delcore
BARRE – For the second straight month city school commissioners have told their superintendent to hold the phones.
A month after balking at Superintendent John Bacon’s recommendation that they purchase a new telephone system for the city’s centralized elementary school from Integrity Communications of Williston, board members agreed they aren’t yet ready to make that call.
At least not until after their facilities committee further evaluates bids that board members agreed to solicit despite Bacon’s month-old recommendation that they do business with the same vendor who was selected to replace the telephone systems at Barre Town Middle and Elementary School, Spaulding High School and the Ayers Street offices of the Barre Supervisory Union.
Those bids are now in hand and, while they haven’t yet been “analyzed,” board members learned Monday night that the system quoted by Integrity would cost roughly $12,500 more than the low bid – $47,191 – submitted by Key Communications of White River Junction.
Bacon stood by his recommendation on Monday, describing Integrity as a “local vendor” that has provided “very good service” to Barre’s partners in the local supervisory union and stressing the Panasonic system quoted by Key Communications is not compatible with the new phone systems installed at any of the other buildings. Without an upgrade, Bacon said, “four-digit dialing” – a feature that would expedite communication between buildings – would not be an option. The cost of the upgrade is unknown and board members didn’t discuss the value of the four-digit dialing option.
Board members did question Bacon’s description of Integrity as a “local” company given its Williston address, as well as the fact that the company’s bid – $59,751 – exceeded the $50,000-figure they budgeted for a new phone system and security improvements.
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