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MASON CITY | Mason City Schools will hire its own full-time nutrition director for the 2018-19 academic year.

Clear Lake Schools had been sharing Lora Jenson, its director of nutrition services, with the district since 2012 in a 60-40 split. In past years, school officials said the arrangement allowed for cost savings through salary, benefits and bulk purchasing.

Superintendent Dave Versteeg told board members during a meeting earlier this week his recommendation was to consider continuing the sharing agreement, but also noted the district needs more time from the person in that position.

He said his recommendation was not performance-based. 

The contract for the upcoming year, which has been approved by the Clear Lake School Board, states Mason City would pay Clear Lake about $80,620 for its portion of Jenson’s salary and benefits.  

Clear Lake holds the contract for Jenson, whose salary is $100,348.06 in 2017-18. That figure doesn't include benefits. 

Board President Lorrie Lala said she thought the district could get “more bang for the buck” at having a full-time employee paid around $80,000. 

“I’m not in favor of approving this contract,” she said.

Lala, Doug Campbell, Jodi Draper and Jacob Schweitzer voted against approving the contract. Scott Warren voted to approve it. Brent Seaton abstained, and Alan Steckman was absent.

Since the contract was not approved, Jenson will only work for Clear Lake in 2018-19.

Board members also approved an agreement with amendments for an IT position the district has also been sharing with Clear Lake.

Lala voted against making changes to the agreement but approved the sharing agreement. Seaton voted in favor of amending the agreement but abstained from approving the sharing agreement. 

Since the agreement was amended, it will return to Clear Lake for approval from its board members. 

Contact Ashley at 641-421-0556 or on Twitter @GGashkmiller. 

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