By Tim Leeds
Buying a phone is a complicated business today. Especially if you're buying it for a whole school district.
The Havre Board of Trustees unanimously approved an administration recommendation to replace current phone systems using Nitsuko America Telephone system and White Inc. of Great Falls as the vendor.
District Business Manager Ric Floren presented the proposal. Extensive research had gone into the choice, he said.
The district desired specific improvements in the systems, Floren said. Top priorities included having caller ID, hands free usage, ability to record conversations if needed, being able to block or add long distance access and access to 800 numbers, and ease of systems management.
Floren said eight vendors had originally responded to the district's queries about systems. After two hour interviews, seven attended a meeting to present more information on the district's requirements, and five submitted proposals.
After interviewing the five vendors, Floren said, the committee appointed to research the proposal recommended Nitsuko and White's as the vendor for the project.
The bid price for the project is $116,190 before the school's E-rate discount is applied, Floren said. The final cost should be between $80,000 and $90,000 after the discount, he said.
The payment for the new system will come from the Accelerated Gas and Oil Fund, Floren said. This fund has been earmarked for single-use expenses, he said. The district's regular budget will not be affected by the purchase of the new system, Floren said.