By a unanimous vote, the Littlestown Area School District Board approved a three-year contract with G-Force Security Solutions LLC to provide safety and security services for the school district. The contract was approved during the district’s regular monthly meeting held Monday at Alloway Creek Elementary School.
The agreement goes into effect Aug. 1, at a cost of $63,355.25 for the initial year of the contract with three percent increases in the fees for the following two years of the contract. The district will be responsible for compensating the G-Force employee assigned to the district with five paid time off (PTO) days to be used as sick/personal days and the district will also be responsible for providing G-Force employees with uniforms to be worn while working within the school district.
In accordance with the contract, G-Force will provide the district with the following services: be available for agreed-upon shifts at the Littlestown Area School District to provide armed security for the interior and exterior of district buildings, school parking lots and cafeteria hours from Monday-Friday for an eight hour shift; provide armed security on Friday nights at home varsity football games; evaluate current policies and procedures related to security and safety and assist with updating hazard plans; conduct site visits to all district schools with district administrators for reviewing emergency plans, building evacuation plans and other security and safety issues related to school buildings; meet with district administrators regarding security concerns within the district’s busing system; and serve as a liaison between the school district and law enforcement as it relates to Safe Schools (Act 67) Reports.
All G-Force employees who will be working within the district will be required to undergo state and FBI criminal record checks as well as a child abuse history clearances.
The board, by a 6-3 vote, approved the purchase a 2022 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD pickup truck for the price of $43,982. The vehicle will be outfitted with a Boss-V snowplow. The new truck will replace a truck that was removed from service following a mechanical failure March 2020. The purchase of the vehicle was included in the current district budget for the 2021-2022 fiscal year. The vehicle is being purchased through Bob Fisher Chevy, based in Reading, Pa. Voting against the purchase of the vehicle were board members Nikki Kenny, Jeanne Ewan, and Shari Kruger.
“We are talking about cutting programs and raising taxes and we are spending $44,000 on a new truck, a truck that we got by without for the past two winters. This purchase makes no sense to me,” said Kenny.
Whether approved in a previous budget or not, any purchase approvals need to be looked at going forward due the finances of the district, Kenney said.
“We are going to increase taxes on senior citizens on fixed incomes. Any money we do not need to spend right now should be held back to lessen the pain we are likely going to inflict on district taxpayers,” said Kenny.
By a 7-2 vote, the board approved a contract with Chartwells to provide food and cafeteria services to the district for the 2022-2023 school year. The district receives reimbursement for a portion of the meals from the state and federal governments with students paying for meals making up the majority of the expense for the cafeteria services which include breakfast and lunch.
According to LASD Superintendent Chris Bigger, the goal is to make the food services a budget neutral item but due to a 7 percent inflation increase included with this year’s contract there could be a shortfall of $21,652.50 that will need to covered by either the district or another entity.
“Inflation is something that needs to be taken into account going forward and without the seven percent inflation included in this contract, the cafeteria services would be a break-even program for the district,” said Bigger.
School board members Ewan and Kenny voted against approving the contract.
By unanimous vote, the board approved the installation of additional security cameras at Alloway Creek Elementary School and along the front portion of the district’s maintenance building. NRG Building Services, from Harrisburg, will manage the installation of the security cameras. The cost for the additional cameras at the elementary school will be $5,250 and the cost for the cameras within the maintenance area will be $14,000. All of the installed cameras will be viewable on the existing security system used by the district.