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The Rolla Daily News - Rolla, MO
  • Board holding propane company to its firm bid price

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  • A propane company that raised the price of fuel when Newburg Public Schools reached its perceived limit will still get paid the firm price the company bid last year.
     
    Speaking at Tuesday night’s Newburg Board of Education meeting, district bookkeeper and board secretary Mary Hinkel described how she recently received bills from Ferrellgas for $1.99 per gallon and $2.04 per gallon.
     
    Knowing the company had won the contract with a firm bid price of $1.03, Hinkel said she called the company and learned from an official that the district had already purchased 18,000 gallons of fuel, which the company claims as the bid limit, so the price went up.
     
    The company official agreed to lower the charge to $1.12, the pump price in Rolla, plus 5 cents per gallon to deliver to Newburg.
     
    Hinkel said the bid agreement was for “approximately 18,000 gallons with a firm price through May 31.”
    She said she called the company with the second-lowest bid, which has agreed to charge $1.19 with a firm price until the district rebids the propane contract.
     
    The board decided the wording of the agreement did not specify a limit, only an approximation which is subject to interpretation. The board authorized payment to Ferrellgas of $1.03 per gallon, the contract price, for the propane already delivered and to allow the two other companies that had lost the bid to Ferrellgas last year to rebid for the remainder of the term.
     
    In other business or discussion:
     
    Superintendent of Schools John Westerman said he expects a 10 percent decrease in federal funds next year.
     
    Westerman also said the state’s school foundation formula will likely be 95 percent funded. He also said the Missouri Senate has passed a bill to reduce income taxes but raise the state sales tax. Although Gov. Nixon has said he would veto that bill if the House passes it, too, there is a likelihood his veto will be overridden. Westerman said this tax move will lower taxes on corporations while raising them on individuals.
     
    The board accepted retirements of first grade teacher Kim Nash, 16 years with the district; Davita Smith, kindergarten, 21 years; Donnie Anderson, physical education, softball coach and athletic director; Nita Mihlfeld, Title I math teacher, 23 years, all effective June 30.
     
    The board approved the 2013-2014 school calendar and the 2013 summer school calendar. High School Principal Steve Guffey was approved as the summer school director.
     
    A 6.9 percent increase in the health insurance premium was approved for 2013-14,and the board affirmed its commitment to the consortium.
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    The board cast a consensus vote in favor of a West Plains telephone company, but did not vote on a contract, waiting to see what will be covered by the e-rate federal funding.
     
    Blank spaces in the policy regarding personal leave time were filled in after seven years. Officially now, seven missed days per semester and 14 days per school year are considered excessive.
     
    Guffey noted that eighth graders recently completed the federal testing program. “I received several compliments from the facilitators,” he told the board in his report. “They reported that we had the best behaved students that they had ever worked with. In fact, all were retired teachers and stated that they want to come back to work here.”
     
    Guffey also noted resource students made blankets for residents at Rolla Manor Care and the Beta Club members completed several service projects, include a walk-a-thon for St. Judes Children’s Hospital, a book drive for the pediatric ward at Phelps County Regional Medical Center, toy drives for children.
     
    Guffey lauded the custodial staff for performance.
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