PB School Board hears proposed reimbursement policy change

The Pine Bluff School Board heard the first reading Tuesday of proposed expense reimbursement policy changes for its members.

A second reading and vote are slated at the board’s March meeting. The policy changes concern reimbursement for expenses of directors related to their travel and attendance at conferences, professional development activities and school business.

Under the new proposal, lodging for board members would be provided when they are staying at hotels identified as a conference hotel for the specific event. The meal per diem rate on the days of departure and return would be paid at the full rate instead of half, which is the present policy.

The new plan would allow reimbursement of $35 per day for meals on one-day trips not inclusive of overnight travel.

Action on the contract of Superintendent Linda Watson was not taken at the meeting, but is due during February. District spokeswoman Kenetta Ridgell said Wednesday that the board will be addressing the matter in a special called meeting by the end of the month.

In other business on Tuesday, the board accepted respective low bids of $58,872 and $36,668 from Environmental Protection Association for asbestos removal from the Gabe Meyer and Sixth Avenue school buildings. Snyder Environmental’s bids were $159 and $3,282 higher, respectively.

Also, a low bid of $75,300 was accepted from Con-Real/Arkansas for renovations to Pine Bluff High School’s attendance room. Nabholz Construction Services’ bid on the project was more than $100,000.