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District 218 Board extends contract for food service company

Consolidated School District 218 Board of Education has extended the food service contract for a fourth year to the company currently supplying Richards High School in Oak Lawn, Shepard High School in Palos Heights, and Eisenhower in Blue Island.

When the issue was addressed at the Feb. 16 board meeting, Vice President Randy Heuser pointed out that this will be the last extension given to Chartwells School Dining Services, which has been providing food service to the district since 2012.

“They’re in the fourth year of a four-year contract. There is no sense in changing that now, is there?” he wondered.

The contract must be put up for competitive bids in 2017 because, as district Business Manager Joe Daley pointed out, this school year is the fourth and final time the current contract can be extended. Next year, the food service contract will have to be put up for competitive bid, Daley said.

Technically, federal law only allows school districts to offer one-year contracts to companies for food service. These may be extended one year at a time for up to four years.

The vote was 4-0 in favor of the extension, because board members Larry Harris, Robert Stokas and Carol Kats were not at the meeting.

Federal law also states that the food service company is entitled to an increase for the upcoming year, but that increase must be based on the Consumer Price Index as of December 2015. Daley said that means the company will receive an increase of 2.6 percent for the 2016-17 academic year.

In other business, the school board also voted unanimously to spend about $83,000 on new uniforms for the band program at Eisenhower High School.

According to district spokesman Robert McParland, this purchase is similar to those done for the band program at Shepard High School in 2014, and in 2015 for the one at Richards.

The Bandman’s Company of Dallas, Texas, submitted the lower of two bids —$83,284.15 — to provide 135 band uniforms, five drum major uniforms and 25 guard uniforms. Three other companies sought information from the district, but did not submit bids.

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