Fund Board to consider 2nd readings |

Fund Board to consider 2nd readings

Action will help to determine next year’s allocation amounts

Jack Weinstein

— The Education Fund Board is scheduled to consider how to allocate $2.31 million to Routt County school districts and local community groups tonight.

Fund Board members will consider second readings from the Educational Excellence and Technology/Capital commissions. The commissions brought first readings to the Fund Board in February.

At the March 3 meeting, Fund Board members set the $2.31 million budget for the 2010-11 school year. To set the budget, the Fund Board had to dip into its reserves. The budget will leave the Fund Board with about $700,000 in reserves.

The budget includes an allocation of $1,254,000 to the Educational Excellence Com­mission and $946,000 to the Tech­nology/Capital Commis­sion. Of the remainder, $80,000 pays for the Fund Board's grant writer and $30,000 is dedicated for its administrative costs.

The commissions considered more than $2.7 million in requests from the Steamboat Springs, Hayden and South Routt school districts and four community groups. The requests were first presented in January.

"It's been a long and challenging process, yes, but we've done our due diligence," Fund Board President Mark Andersen said. "As I've said before, we're fortunate to give (more than) $2 million back to education. It's tough, but we feel we're doing our best to give back to the school districts."

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The second readings could spill into an additional meeting, but Andersen is hopeful that they'll all be approved tonight. Andersen said he doesn't expect any major changes from first readings.

Andersen said after the funds are gifted to each school district and community group, they would have to be approved by those entities. He said the funding is paid in arrears. After an entity has paid for what it requested, it will submit a receipt to the Fund Board to be reimbursed, he said.

That allows the Fund Board to ensure that the money is spent as requested, Andersen said.

After tonight's meeting, An­­dersen said, the Fund Board's upcoming meetings will address several administrative items. They include discussions about better ways to get community feedback throughout the process, how to better communicate what the Fund Board can accomplish with the dollars it gifts and whether the application process needs to change.

Andersen said appointments to the Fund Board and commissions might change in the coming months.

Since Steamboat Springs voters first approved the city's half-cent sales tax for education in 1993, the Fund Board has provided more than $31 million in gifts to the Steamboat Springs School District. In November 2008, Steamboat voters approved sharing the tax with the Hayden and South Routt school districts.

— To reach Jack Weinstein, call 871-4203 or e-mail

If you go

What: Education Fund Board meeting

When: 5:30 p.m. today

Where: Downstairs board room of the George P. Sauer Human Services Center on Seventh Street

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