By RYAN T. BUTLER
The Levy County School Board voted to approve a five-cent increase for school lunches for the 2012-2013 school year during a May 8 meeting.
Finance Director Bob Clemons said the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which is in charge of monitoring public school lunches, is mandating the increase to align better with the national average.
Current Levy County average prices for school lunches, which is an aggregate of prices for all elementary, middle and high schools in the county, is $2.46.
The board expressed dismay about the increase, citing it as an extra burden on residents. Because the vote was a formality for a federal mandate it was approved 5-0 without debate.
In other business, the board approved Superintendent Bob Hastings recommendation to suspend without pay Williston Elementary School head janitor Dennis Solowski.
It was approved 5-0 without debate.
Solowski’s vehicle — which was parked on the school campus — was searched by a Levy County sheriff’s deputy on May 3 following a tip there were guns inside the truck. The officer recovered three firearms and Solowski was arrested. He was suspended one day with pay before Hastings’ recommendation to the board.
Hastings said all employees sign forms upon employment that explicitly bans the possession of firearms on campus.
Hastings said Solowski will be suspended for 21 days, and his employment will, pending appeal or petition, be terminated during the school board meeting after the designated time period.