A committee is expected to be named Friday to handle the opening of bids for 29 rural bus routes in Charlestown, Jeffersonville and New Washington.

Superintendent Thomas Rohr said a committee was not named to handle the bids and negotiations when routes were initially bid in April.

As a board policy, the corporation’s purchasing agent typically handles the bidding, Rohr said.

“We thought in this case we would make sure every base is covered and make sure everyone knows who will be opening the bids,” Rohr said.

The intial bidding process drew public scrutiny after out-of-state bus company Illinois Central School Bus submitted the low bids on 13 of the 29 routes in a reverse auction bidding.

The board decided to rebid the routes after several local contract bus drivers — represented by an attorney — challenged the legality of the bidding process.

A five-route limit per operator has been placed in the bid specifications this time, but that apparently hasn’t ended out-of-state interest in the local routes.

Illinois Central and a second Illinois-based company, Durham School Services, have reportedly requested bid packages.

Bids are due on May 29.

Negotiations are scheduled for New Washington Charlestown routes on May 29. Jeffersonville routes will be negotiated on May 30.

The Greater Clark school board has a special meeting scheduled at 12:50 p.m. Friday to name the committee.

The meeting follows a closed session, where according to the agenda, the board will “receive information and interview prospective employees” and discuss the “Initiation of litigation or litigation that is either pending or has been threatened specifically in writing.”

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