Bus mechanic stays on for School Board

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 2, 2007

No change in past 12 years


Staff Reporter

RESERVE- &#8220St. John’s buses travel the distance of New York to California and halfway back in one day,” said St. John School System Financial officer F.K. Boughton.

The St. John Parish School Board, in a 10-0 decision on Thursday night, renewed the contract of Boy Williams and Hastin Lewis for bus maintenance for the years 2008-2010. The two mechanics work out of A.O. Williams Garage in Reserve.

Board Member Matthew Ory expressed concern that the contract had not been up for bidding to other mechanics in 12 years.

Boughton assured members the price of services at Williams Garage were less than other competitors. The cost of maintenance from Williams and Lewis together is currently around $4,300 per bus. The price is set to increase 5% in the first year of the new contract and 3% per year in the final two years.

Boughton compared the prices to those from St. James Parish at $5321 per bus and St. Charles Parish, where the mechanics and garage are part of the school system, at $72 per bus. Board Member Clarence Triche remarked that St. John’s buses travel twice as far as buses used by St. James and St. Charles parishes, thus needing twice as much work.

Another issue of concern was the contract for Aegis Construction’s demolition and replacement of the concession stand at the East St. John baseball complex at a cost of $92,600. Ory brought up a past concern about the subcontractors Aegis uses for their smaller projects and whether they were based locally or not.

Board Member Patrick Sanders also expressed concern that the bids for those subcontractors may not be friendly to minority owned businesses. Boughton assured the board Aegis was offering a below average price. The proposal was also backed by school architect Alton Darby in an email circulated to board members and media outlets. The resolution passed with a 10-0 vote.