Merrill Board of Education approves contract with Taher

The Merrill Area Public Schools Board of Education approved a one-year contract with a Minnesotta-based company to run the district’s food service operations for the 2011-12 school year.

The hiring of Taher, Inc. to take over followed the dismissal of Chartwell’s, which was awarded a similar contract last year by the board. Louise Fischer, Director of Finance, recommended to the board, and they agreed, to not renew Chartwell’s contract after this year. Fischer said there have been numerous problems with how Chartwell was running the MAPS food service, but considered the whole year a learning process.

“We now have the experience and the expectations to pick a better partner,” Fischer said.

Like Chartwells, Taher, Inc. will make its meals from scratch in each schools kitchen by employees of the district.

Bruce Taher, the company CEO, has kept regular contact with Fischer since it was not awarded the MAPS contract last year.

“Obviously, he was disappointed MAPS did not contract with his company last summer. A good businessman, his regular contact with me has helped build a potential partnership which could be very successful,” she said.

The motion to hire Taher, Inc. was approved by the board by a 9-0 tally.