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Flint school district considering bids to privatize services

As part of an effort to fix a $9.5 million budget shortfall the Flint school board is considering bids from companies interested in taking over transportation, building and grounds maintenance, waste removal and pest control.

At a meeting last night school board members signed off on contracts for pest control and waste removal but did not approve a $2.5 million bid for custodial services from FEATS of Portland, Mich., the Flint Journal reports.

Board assistant secretary-treasurer Vera Perry said the lower pay rate included in the bids for custodial services – from $15 per hour to $8.25 – were too harsh.

“To me, you’re asking them to go into bankruptcy,” Perry said.

“This is ridiculous, it’s politics,” said board member David Davenport.

Ed Dollin, director of operations for both FEATS and METS [the company with the low bid for pest control services], said the companies could negotiate with the district on pay rates.

“We’re going to give every one of those people (currently on staff) an opportunity to work for us,” Dollin said. “You guys can set the salary.”

The board has agreed to continue discussion on outsourcing custodial and other services.

Officials expect a final 2011-12 budget to be prepared by June 1.

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