Education Fund Board to consider second readings |

Education Fund Board to consider second readings

Jack Weinstein

— The Education Fund Board will consider second readings of all requests Wednesday night.

The volunteer group that allocates the city of Steamboat Springs half-cent sales tax for education had been scheduled to review those requests March 23. It delayed action because the Steamboat Springs School District was trying to figure out whether it could absorb $88,000 of its Technology/Capital Commission requests into building budgets.

Instead of proceeding with all other requests, including the Technology/Capital requests for the Hayden and South Routt school districts and Educational Excellence second readings, the Fund Board voted to delay action.

Because it didn't approve second readings, board members also delayed approving the 2011-12 budget, which it had to suspend its bylaws to do. They require that the budget be approved by April 1. Instead, the Fund Board also will consider the budget Wednesday night.

Technology Capital Commission Chairman Roger Good, who is also a member of the Fund Board, said Steamboat schools were able to absorb those requests. That frees up money for other Technology/Capital requests that otherwise would have been reduced.

Fund Board President Kristi Brown said she was confident that all second readings would be approved at Wednesday night's meeting and there wouldn't be a need for further delays.

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"I think it's going to be simple and straightforward and very focused on second readings and the budget," she said.

The Fund Board has been working with a preliminary budget of $2.34 million, about $1 million for each commission with the last $300,000 up for grabs.

The commissions reduced requests totaling nearly $2.8 million in first readings to about $2.6 million on second reading. They're also proposing funding commission requests at $1.15 million per commission, about half of the proposed budget. Brown has said that would be the Fund Board's starting point for allocation discussions.

If all requests were approved at the commission levels of $1.15 million, allocations would be: $1.96 million of $2.1 million on second reading requests for Steamboat; $136,030 of $165,629 for Hayden; $141,402 of $174,344 for South Routt; and $65,500 of $115,592 for the community groups.

The funding breakdown at those levels would be: 85 percent for Steamboat, 5.9 percent for Hayden, 6.1 percent for South Routt and 2.9 percent for the community groups.

Also Wednesday night, the Fund Board will consider whether to approve $830.58 for Rocky Mountain Microfilm and Imaging, the company it contracted to digitize its meeting minutes. In December, the Fund Board approved spending $2,000, but the cost to digitize minutes and financial documents, which wasn't part of the original estimate, came in higher than expected.

Brown said funding for the expenditure would come from the Fund Board's administrative budget or, if enough money wasn't available, from reserves.

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