DUBOIS – As the DuBois Area School District Board of Directors went over the voting agenda for next week the Nutrition Group came forward to make an effort to explain why the school district should retain their services for school meals.
The Nutrition Group has served the school district for the last 17 years, but this year another company put in a bid $50,000 below their’s for the same service. According to the representatives of the Nurtition Group they couldn’t see how they could be underbid by that wide of a margin. They even proposed that the lower bidder, Metz, inc., might have overlooked the $30,000 cost of Head Start meals.
“I find it hard to believe a business could make a $50,000 mistake,” said school board President James Mackie.
The Nutrition Group had emailed the school board prior to the meeting with their concerns, and the school board had already contacted Metz over the possibility that they had overlooked Head Start. Metz assured the board that it was included within the bid.
For their final plea, the Nutrition Group offered to reduce their bid by $50,000, and potentially more, to have their 17 years serving the DuBois Area School District become 18.
Mackie indicated that it was strange that Nutrition Group didn’t go after it, referring to the lower bid a week before the contract was to be awarded, and why Nutrition Group just didn’t provide a lower bid to begin with. He paraphrased this thought several times throughout the meeting as statements and questions.
Nutrition Group representative Dan Bazycak explained that a bid that low was unrealistic and their original bid had been fair. By reducing the bid, even removing administrative costs, they were looking at taking a loss by serving the school district.
When asked why Nutrition Group would be willing to take a loss, Bazycak explained, “Seventeen years is a hard thing to make up.”
He also explained that it was a move he would rather not do, and repeated that he felt their original bid had been the fair one.