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Happiness is a firm fuel oil price

If there is a silver lining in the fuel prices North Harrison Community School Corp. expects to pay the next school year, it’s in the form of a firm price for the fuel oil used in the old boilers at some of the schools.
Ken Oppel, who on July 1 officially succeeded Ed Pitman as assistant superintendent and transportation director at NHCSC, made the recommendation at Thursday night’s meeting of school trustees to accept the bid from Petroleum Traders who submitted a firm price of $2.0431.
That’s .8673 cents more than the firm bid the school corporation accepted from the same provider last year. ‘That’s a big difference,’ Oppel said.
Oppel said he and Pitman opened the bids together on June 27, including bids for unleaded gas, diesel fuel, bread and milk, and discussed possibilities.
‘Nobody wants to pay higher prices,’ Oppel said yesterday morning. ‘It’s going to affect every school in Indiana. We’re going to have to work it into our budgets.’
Besides hoping for a mild winter, Oppel said they will see if there’s anything else they can do to ‘help out’ with the higher fuel cost this year. ‘I feel pretty good that we got a firm price,’ he added.
Petroleum Traders was the only provider to submit a firm bid price. Four others submitted bids with escalator prices that would allow for price increases.
Bids for unleaded gas and diesel fuel were all escalator prices.
‘Nobody bid firm prices on that,’ Oppel said.
Based on Oppel’s recommendation, the school trustees awarded the bids to the low bidder, Harrison County Oil, for unleaded gas (used by the school corporation for its maintenance vehicles and lawn mowers) and diesel fuel (for the corporation-owned buses).
‘We don’t really use as much gas as people might think,’ Oppel said. ‘We’re not that big of a fleet.’
The unleaded gas bid was $1.726 a gallon, while the diesel fuel bid was $1.818 per gallon. (Harrison County Oil was the successful bidder last year, too, with an escalator bid of $1.568 a gallon for unleaded and $1.629 firm per gallon for diesel fuel.)
Surprisingly, though, Oppel said, milk and bread bids were slightly down from last year.
‘We felt pretty good about that,’ he said. ‘That will allow us to maintain our current lunch prices.’
Earthgrain Baking Co. was the sole bidder this year for bread. Last year, two providers ‘ Lewis Bakeries and Sara Lee ‘ submitted bids.
Lewis Trauth Dairy was awarded the milk contract over two other providers, Prairie Farms and U.C. Milk
Oppel said he recommended Lewis Trauth for the milk contract because it submitted a firm bid and because ‘milk prices have fluctuated greatly in the past few years,’ he said.
In other matters, the trustees:
* Accepted resignations from James Sturgeon as an English teacher at North Harrison High School effective the end of the 2005 summer session; Jean Geswein as a North Harrison Elementary teacher at the end of the 2005-06 school year, and Jerry Atkins Jr. as seventh grade lay football coach.
* Approved appointments of Hank Rothrock and Scott Jones as a lay drum line instructor with the NHHS band; Kelly Cooper as the boys golf coach, and Dana Striegel as girls tennis coach.