Wednesday, May 7, 2008

4 firms submit bids to oversee maintenance

By Elizabeth Benton
Register Staff
— As school custodians continue to push for in-house management, four companies have submitted bids to oversee school maintenance.
Aramark, the current contract holder, OR&L Facility Services of Branford, Sodexo of Maryland and AFB Construction Management of Bridgeport are vying for the job, according to city Purchasing Agent Michael Fumiatti.
Fumiatti opened the bids Tuesday, and will read the four proposals before passing them to a review committee.
The city had also solicited bids for management of school food services, but has tossed out the three proposals received. The school district will instead manage the kitchens in-house and has begun seeking an executive director for the program.
“The city ought to take those four bids and do the same thing they did with the food service (bids): throw them all out and take it in-house,” said Larry Dorman, spokesman for Council 4 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.
Schools Chief Operating Officer Will Clark said no decision has been made on self-operation. “We will review the bids and go from there,” he said.
Facing mounting union opposition to Aramark, New Haven Superintendent of Schools Reginald Mayo announced earlier this year the district would re-bid the food service and facilities management contracts. It’s been several years since the city re-bid either contract.
New contracts begin July 1.

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