TEMPERANCE -- Bedford Public Schools officials have approved a contract with a North Toledo car dealership for naming rights on the turf at Bedford Community Stadium.
The 12-year agreement with Grogan's Towne on Telegraph Road was approved by the board of education last week. The Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge-Ram dealer will give $264,000 over 12 years to the district.
In return, an assortment of advertising and display signs featuring the company will be placed at the stadium as well as the high school gymnasium and school athletic fields.
The board of education also ratified labor agreements with two more nonteaching bargaining units, bringing to three the number of unions to replace expired contracts.
Shawna Smith was the only trustee to vote against the naming rights. She said the advertising and display package given to the dealership goes too far.
"I am not against [naming rights to the] stadium. I have concerns when it comes to this agreement," she said. "It is not against the schools and it is really not against Grogan's. It is against the agreement."
The stadium, built in 1997, will retain the "Bedford Community" name on it. The naming rights only applies to the actual playing field.
Grogan's Towne will make $2,000 monthly payments for 10 years and $1,000 monthly payments in the 11th and 12th years.
Administrators have said the dealership's name will be displayed on the home and visitors ticket booths, the wall under the scoreboard, and visitors bleachers. Dealership advertising also will adorn the high school gymnasium and the soccer and baseball stadiums.
The board also gave unanimous approval to union contracts with the Bedford Para Professional Association and the AFSCME Local 2071 Custodial Unit, which represents about 30 janitors and maintenance workers. The new agreements replace contracts that expired June 30, 2010.
Robin Perry, president of the Para Professional Association, said the 51 teachers aides will have no wage increases through June 30, 2013, when the contract expires.
"We are down to bare bones," she said.
Randy Alcock, president of the custodial unit, said employees agreed to a number of concessions, including 3 percent less pay and five furlough days. He said the workers who earn the least are getting hit with the most cuts.
Both Mr. Alcock and Ms. Perry urged central office administrators to take similar pay cuts and concessions.
"These clowns are not sharing in the sacrifices," Mr. Alcock said after the meeting.
Trustees Mike Smith and Shawna Smith praised the union groups for giving up pay raises or holding the line on their salaries.
"They have given more than what they should have," Mr. Smith said.
School officials have said more than $3 million in wage and health-care concessions are eyed from the unions to help offset a projected $4.3 million deficit for next year.
The district has expired contracts with six bargaining groups, including the 280 teachers who belong to the Bedford Education Association.
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