July 24, 2016

Mostly cloudy

Brunswick school board approves contracts, lunch price hike

BRUNSWICK — The Brunswick school board took action on a number of housekeeping items Monday in preparation for the new school year, which begins in less than a month.

This will be the second year the district plans an “early start” with students in grades one to 12 going to class on Aug. 18 and kindergartners on Aug. 19.

On Monday night, board members extended a contract for the district’s treasurer, agreed to bus purchases and roof repairs, and approved a 25-cent increase in school lunch prices.


• School board members approved a three-year contract for Treasurer Patrick East, which expires July 31, 2017. East earns $100,000 annually and the approved contract freezes his pay at that amount, but board members said they could re-visit his pay and increase it with board action during the term of the contract.

“If we were to pass a levy, we can come back and re-evaluate it,” board President Richard Nowak said. Any changes to the contract would require approval of the board and East.

East retired in December 2011 after seven years as treasurer and was rehired the next month. Ohio law allows him to collect his retirement from the Ohio Public Employee Retirement System while continuing to work. But his pay was reduced to $100,000. Before his retirement, he earned $120,000 a year.

• The board approved spending $120,973 on emergency roof repairs at Huntington Elementary School. The roof was damaged when two tornadoes and strong winds hit the area July 8.

Superintendent Michael Mayell said there was enough time to complete a formal bidding process and get the work done before school started.

“It would have taken too much time and they would have been working on the roof after school started,” he said.
Mayell said a consultant estimated the repairs would cost about $120,000, so the district felt comfortable with the contractor’s quote of $120,973. The repairs will be covered using the permanent improvement funds.

• The board approved an increase in school lunch prices for the 2014-15 school year. Lunch prices at each school will increase by 25 cents. Elementary school lunches will be $2.75, middle school lunches will cost $3 and high school lunches will cost $3.25.

East said the price increase was due to rising costs and said the school cafeteria ended the year in the red, partially because of the loss of 10 school days.

• The board approved purchasing two new school buses. The buses cost $101,285 each and include wheelchair lifts. The buses will be paid for with capital funds collected through the county sales tax.

• The board also approved contracts for 13 new teachers. Mayell said the district had a number of retirements to fill this year and a tight budget kept the district from filling all the positions.

“If we were in a better situation, we would have 10 more new faces here,” he said.

Contact reporter Loren Genson at (330) 721-4063 or lgenson@medina-gazette.com. Follow her on Twitter @lorengenson.

Loren Genson About Loren Genson

Loren Genson was The Gazette's senior reporter. From August 2012 through September 2015, she covered Brunswick city and state and national government. To contact The Gazette, call the managing editor at (330) 721-4065.