Belchertown School Committee approves business management services bid

Rivai H Tukimen

BELCHERTOWN – During a regular meeting on May 9, the Belchertown School Committee approved a new business management services agreement with TMS solutions.

To begin the discussion, Superintendent Brian Cameron said the town received one bid for the district’s business management service.

“April 29, 2022, we had a bid opening for the business management services, we received only one bid from TMS solutions. The total bid was $355,912 over three years,” he said. “As you know we’ve already been working with TMS.”

Cameron added that there was an option for the district to opt out if needed.

Committee Chair Heidi Gutekenst said she was in favor of the agreement.

“I feel like they kind of have a monopoly on this business because everybody who is qualified works for them and I would love our own financial team, but I am really thrilled with getting two people from one place,” she said.

Through the agreement, Cameron said Business Manager Mark Chapulis and TMS Associate Michael DeBarge will work on-site in the schools two days per week.

The committee unanimously agreed to approve the bid to continue with TMS as the district’s business management service.

During the meeting, the committee also approved a raise for the student custodial interns from $12.81 per hour up to $14.25, the current minimum wage in Massachusetts.

Cameron also provided a brief update on the Jabish Brook Middle School feasibility study.

“I’ve been in communication with Jen Turner, the chair of the Select Board, there’s a feasibility study agreement that has to be signed by the town, we talked about it and Jen agreed to sign it Monday night [May 9] so it is just being reviewed by legal counsel. Once I receive that back, I will sign off and somebody from School Committee will sign it,” he said.

Cameron added that once the signatures are finalized, he will be meeting with the administrative team in charge of the feasibility study to discuss reaching out to the building committee and establishing the project manager section of the project.

As it was Diane Brown’s last regular meeting with her term coming to an end and not seeking re-election, the committee recognized her for her work in schools.

“I will miss being here, it’s bittersweet. I knew a year ago I wasn’t going to run again but I have been connected with the schools since 1988, I was a volunteer, I worked on Title 1, then sixth grade and then this,” she said. “I’m really proud of all the work we have done over the past couple years.”

The Belchertown School Committee next meets on May 24 and coverage of that meeting will appear in the June 2 edition of The Reminder.

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