By Jessica LeDuc
Blade staff writer
In a move that will save Cloud County Community College money, the board of trustees approved moving forward with a contract for a new food service provider Tuesday night.
Vice President for Administrative Services Bob Maxson told the board that the new contract with Consolidated Management Company, Des Moines, Iowa, features a five-percent reduction in the college's per day food costs for 2013-2014. Maxson said that amount is 33 cents cheaper compared to this year's contract with the college's current food service provider, Treat America.
Other highlights of the new contract include a $50,000 subsidy that Consolidated will pay the college each year. Maxson said the subsidy is money to be used to support cafeteria auxiliary activities, including equipment replacement and repair, support for the food serve liaison, and community game night dinners.
The contract also requires Consolidated to make a single $25,000 donation for capital improvements in the cafeteria, and provide marketing theme nights, the Sunday buffet, and custodial services within the kitchen and cafeteria area.
The future site manager will be hired by vendor, and chosen with the direct involvement of the college's food service liaison. Maxson said Consolidated has already met with the current employees and given them applications for employment.
"The key is the site manager," Maxson said. "Janet (Eubanks) will be involved in that discussion and we're hopeful and confident we'll find the right person."
A committee faculty, staff and students conducted the food service vendor search, Maxson said. The top four vendors – Treat America, Great Western Dining, Taher, and Consolidated – were invited to campus to prepare a sample lunch for the committee. After that, the search was narrowed down to two – Great Western and Consolidated – and the committee made visits to each's food service operations in McCook, Neb., and Great Bend.
Maxson said once the process was completed, the committee's unanimous recommendation was Consolidated.
Morgan Stryker, a resident assistant, said she and the other two students on the committee appreciated being involved in the process. After site visits, she said she and her fellow students preferred Consolidated and what it offered students.
After two executive sessions, the board approved purchasing nine vehicles to replace its aging fleet. The total cost – which includes three compact cars, three intermediate cars, one crossover vehicle, and two seven-passenger vans, is $160,349. The major source of funding for the vehicles, Maxson said, will come from an additional $135,000 the college received from the state of Kansas Energy Grant related to the HVAC project. The remainder will come from the college's operating budget for vehicle purchases.
The vehicles will be purchased from Womack Sunshine Ford-Kawasaki, George Motor, and the state of Kansas.
The board also agreed to move forward with remodeling three agriculture classrooms and an office. Maxson said he received only one bid – from Budreau Construction, Clyde – for $99,889 to remodel all four rooms. After negotiating with the company, Maxson said the total project cost was reduced to $90,579. Construction will be completed by August 1, and will be paid for using building fees.
In personnel matters, the board approved renewing the 2013-2014 contracts for full-time faculty. At the recommendation of Chris Wilson, human resources director, the board approved the non-renewal of Dave Merica, director of Information Technology. Merica had been IT director since March 2012. His non-renewal will be effective June 30, and the administration was authorized to fill the position.