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ELC to consider contract custodial services

By Staff | May 1, 2008

The Estherville Lincoln Central Community School District Board of Education will hear a bid proposal from a company for custodial services.

The FBG company, based in Omaha, Neb., with offices in Des Moines, will make its proposal to contract of janitorial services at the May 12 board meeting. FBG, which bills itself as an employee owned company, provides custodial and maintenance services to businesses and schools throughout the region. The company says it can save the district money and will make its formal proposal at the May 12 board meeting.

“It’s a cost-saving measure,” said Superintendent Dick Magnuson, pointing to the annual custodial and maintenance budget of $838,000. “If we can reduce that we can spend more on education.”

Magnuson said FBG generally hires existing employees. The company usually works with Iowa Workforce Development to determine an appropriate standard wage rate.

“Because our costs are so high, that’s why we’re looking at this,” Magnuson said. He said top-level custodial staff are now earning $15.45 an hour. “Our veteran custodians are earning more than our first, second, or third-year teachers,” Magnuson said.

“We’re not outsourcing anything,” Magnuson said. “This company works with local people.”

Magnuson also emphasized that the May 12 meeting is merely to gather information and not to make a formal staff decision.

“They’re in the information-gathering stage,” Magnuson said of FBG.

Magnuson noted that the district will be down 10 students next fall. Add the increased cost of diesel, and that’s why the district has had to take cost-containment measures, he said.

“We recognize that this is a serious issue and the board is looking at it purely from an economic standpoint,” Magnuson said.