Lehigh Valley

Technical error costs company BASD contract

BETHLEHEM, Pa. - A network hardware company is out more than $125,000 because of an error it made in a bid proposal for a project with the Bethlehem Area School District.

After awarding Integra One the contract for the new Nitschmann Middle School wireless access points and network hardware on Jan. 9, it was discovered that a document required -- the appropriate e-rate form 470 filing -- was not attached, thus creating a technical error and subsequently resulting in the forfeiture of the contract.

On Monday night the district's board of directors formally rescinded the award.

As such, a new bid will now be advertised and issued with the appropriate form. A new bid award recommendation will be brought to the March 20 regular board meeting. The district maintains this process will ensure that BASD receives the allowable 80 percent e-rate reimbursement associated with the wireless networking and hardware for the new school.

In other business, directors adopted a resolution that urges the Pennsylvania General Assembly to vote against the proposed total elimination of school property tax legislation that is currently before them. The resolution, drafted by the Pennsylvania School Boards Association, asks the state general assembly to consider alternative legislation that would provide targeted taxation relief, specifically toward senior citizens and homesteads, but not all property owners. School boards from across the state have rallied behind the legislation, according to BASD. Many districts are concerned about losing a reliable form of revenue.

The board also approved the hiring of Ian Larimer as the boys' varsity soccer coach at Liberty High School.  Larimer is only a few years older than the boys he will be coaching; the 21 year old is completing his senior year at Moravian College.

In other news, President Michael Faccinetto commented on his ascension to Pennsylvania Schools Boards Association presidency following the resignation of Mark Miller over a Tweet deemed controversial.

Faccinetto, who would have assumed command of the organization in 2018, said he was "saddened to take over the way it happened." He noted his respect for MIller and wished him the best in his future endeavors. Faccinetto said he wasn't expecting to serve in the leadership role for nearly two years, but said it was quite a deal "getting two for the price of one."

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