To the editor: I read the news report Wednesday on the Shamokin Area School Board meeting and, with particular interest, that portion dealing with the cafeteria. I strongly disagree with most figures that were given as fact. Yes, the food service company is guaranteed a profit. I said the food service company. That $55,000-plus profit is part of the contract the board signed for this year.

The official financial statement for the school district beginning balance in the food service fund when taken over by the company was $687,056 before audit. There was only a slight change after audit. That was July 1, 2012. Revenue during the ensuing months ending April 30 totaled $951,394. Expenditures for the same period of time add up to $1,033,598. Now, all you math lovers, do the calculation - $82,204 difference, expenditures over revenue, and a $604,852 ending balance.

The figure changes monthly, but from a deficit last month of $43,000-plus it has grown another $38,308 this month. This contract ends on June 30 and the board has rehired the same company for another year. In fairness, the fund will be getting a boost from grants before June 30, but depending on how that matches up with the expenditures, I don't see the school district benefitting at all by the move and, in fact, since the company is the one guaranteed the profit, Shamokin Area School District (SASD) and you, the taxpayers, could be paying for the folly of the five who, for whatever purposes, made the choice.

I do not intend in any way to demean the food service company. After all, they have to sell the idea to the board, and they did.

Unless the approximate $55,000 interest earnings from deposits and investments are credited to the company, I have to say that I agree with the four who were cautious and concerned with what it could mean to the taxpayers.

You'll be told that the board wanted the employees to have some benefits and that is why the expenses are so high, but those costs are already figured in the proposal where SASD is to do just great. I also fully expect the powers that be to try to get around this, but I stand by these figures and will be happy to meet with anyone who would like to discuss them.

Phyllis Lippay

Coal Township