The Dallastown Area School Board approved another year with its new meal provider, but not without trepidation.

Chartwells, hired two years ago to provide meal service throughout the district, had its contract extended for next school year at Thursday's board meeting.

But several school board members said they have grown tired of constantly having to monitor Chartwells and get things corrected. Some board members said the food quality, an issue earlier this year, has improved, but Chartwels still needs to improve its overall service.

"I feel like we have spent so much time on the board every month dealing with issues in the cafeteria," board member Sue Heistand said.

Chartwells, a national company, has several York County contracts.

"We are not their first school district. But they almost acted like it was the first time they went into a school district," Heistand said.

Board member Don Jasmann said he's met with Chartwells officials, and he believes they are listening to the district's concerns. But they aren't following through on promises as he'd like, which is one reason he and Heistand cast the only two dissenting votes on the contract.

The "yes" votes, though, weren't much more supportive. Board president Kenneth "Butch" Potter said the board should approve the contract simply because getting another provider arranged at this point for next year would be problematic.

After that, though, Chartwells is far from a sure thing to stick around.


"I truly expect significant improvement, or it will change my vote next year," said board member Kristin Phillips-Hill.

In other action, budget committee chairman Ronald Blevins gave some unexpected good news, as Dallastown has about $1.7 million available this year it didn't expect. Unanticipated decreases in areas such as utility payments and higher than expected income tax revenue helped create the extra funding.

Blevins' committee is recommending Dallastown use about $500,000 of the extra funding to purchase curriculum materials, $400,000 to pay down debt and $380,000 to fund upcoming capital projects.

- Reach Andrew Shaw at