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Apollo-Ridge School District hires Nutrition Inc. to oversee food service

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Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012, 12:21 a.m.

There's a new lunch lady in town for the Apollo-Ridge School District, at least temporarily.

The school board on Monday approved bringing in Nutrition Inc. to oversee the district's food service through Jan. 31.

The company is being brought in as an independent contractor after the Nov. 2 resignation of food service Director Kathleen Smathers, who had been with the district since 1997.

Under a consultant agreement, the district will pay Nutrition $1,500 per month plus a daily rate of $175 for the days its food service director is on-site.

Nutrition will review, oversee and offer advice for improving the food service program administration, the agreement states.

Nutrition was brought in to run the district's cafeterias until a replacement for Smathers can be found, board President Greg Primm said. No other employees were capable of taking over her duties, he said.

“We need someone to continue running the program until we fill the slot,” Primm said. “It's very hard to find an individual who's not already employed someplace else to do her job.”

The district runs its own cafeteria program, and Primm said there has not been any discussion of changing that.

As part of the agreement, Apollo-Ridge agreed not to attempt to hire any of Nutrition's management employees during the agreement and for three years afterward without the company's consent.

Board caps tax increase

The board formally stated that it will not seek to raise taxes for the 2013-14 school year beyond 2.5 percent.

Under Act 1, the district is allowed to increase property taxes by up to 2.5 percent, its state-imposed inflation index, without seeking voters' approval or asking the state for special permission.

Solicitor gets raise

The board approved rate increases requested by Solicitor Tucker Arensberg.

The hourly rate will increase from $95 to $105, effective Jan. 1. That $10-an-hour increase reflects an increase of 10.5 percent.

The monthly meeting rate increased from $350 to $400. That $50 additional is an increase of 14 percent.

Brian C. Rittmeyer is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-226-4701 or

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