By Chris Concannon
Gloucester City News
The Bellmawr Board of Education (BOE) has entered into the shared services foray with the purchase of a new snowplow.
Operated by the Bellmawr Borough Public Works Department, the plow serves as a vital cost-cutting measure, eliminating the need for the school district to contract out for snow removal.
BOE Vice President Mike Williams stated that, along with a good relationship between the District and the Borough of Bellmawr, this type of agreement is also a money-saver.
Interim Business Administrator N. John Amato added that the schools would open a lot later in the day without the plow.
Public Works Superintendent Joe Ciano noted that using the right equipment allows the school maintenance crews more time to clear common areas and walkways.
Custodian Ken Davidson, speaking on behalf of Head Custodian Glenn Cook, commented on this being an invaluable service, as the return on maintaining the District’s equipment is quick.
Other current agreements between the two entities include mechanical services, along with salting the schools’ parking and access areas.
Ciano further remarked on the financial benefit of these pacts, noting that it takes an average of 90 minutes to clear each school of snow, using a combination of the school plow, along with other heavy equipment provided by the Borough.
He added that all of the partnerships continue for a period of seven years, before they need to be renewed, and that the State Department of Community Affairs (DCA) monitors each measure between municipalities and school districts.
School Superintendent Annette Castiglione said that a continued relationship is most important, as it enables the BOE to do more, because of these shared services agreements.
She also said the School District is very lucky to have this relationship.