08/09/12 The Plymouth School Board voted unanimously on Tuesday night to proceed with a contract for bus maintenance with Wiers. Discussions have been ongoing for several months on the possibility of closing the bus garage currently manned by PCSC employees and utilizing the services of Wiers.

Wiers will provide routine maintenance on the school’s fleet of buses as well as provide documentation of service work preformed. Speaking on behalf of his company, Tom Wiers said they have adopted a philosophy of Stephen Covey to have a “win-win or no deal “approach. Wiers has been in operation for 48 years in the Plymouth community; Tom Wiers presented three letters from other school corporations to the board members prior to the Tuesday meeting. Wiers said, “A maintenance agreement is not uncommon.” He added that they expect a long-term relationship, but would help in an orderly transition if the agreement between them did not work out.

Tyree told the board members that there were two other proposals for bus maintenance and they came about from companies reading the newspaper and not from the corporation advertising for proposals..

The matter was put on hold approximately two months ago when questions arose concerning the possible contamination of the soil under the garage area. At an earlier meeting, an audience member and bus driver indicated that gasoline tanks that might still be in place. During the August 7 meeting, Superintendent Dan Tyree said, “The gas tanks were taken out in 1991 and an inspection proved clean.” The only tank left in the garage was a hydraulic tank. According to Tyree, that tank was taken out in July of this year and an inspection proved clean for it a well. Tyree indicated that there appeared to be some surface contamination, but that the corporation received the report just this week showing that the soil is now clean.

Although the vote concerned only the contract for bus maintenance, Tyree and others presented information to the board on the future use of the space for vocational offerings.  Tyree said, “We haven’t put any money into the Service Center for five years or so.”

He then provided estimates on upgrades for the space or setting up in the existing high school based on findings from Barton-Coe Architects. The three options provided ranged in costs from $355,000 to $475,000. The board is expected to review the estimates at the next regular board meeting on September 4. Also reviewing vocational possibilities was Mark Neidig representing ITAMCO. ITAMCO is proposing to install CNC machines in the school to provide training for interested students.

Correspondent Carol Anders