Steamboat Springs Education Fund Board avoids fine, prepares to hear $2.4M in requests |

Steamboat Springs Education Fund Board avoids fine, prepares to hear $2.4M in requests

Jack Weinstein

Senior Network Systems Engineer Dave Holloway works to refurbish a piece of computer equipment at Strawberry Park Elementary School on Tuesday afternoon. The Steamboat Springs School District is asking for $900

The Internal Revenue Ser­vice has waived the penalties assessed to the Education Fund Board for not filing its annual tax returns on time, Board President Kristi Brown said Tuesday.

In a notice dated Jan. 3, the IRS rescinded the $168,700 in penalties assessed to the Fund Board because it didn't file a Form 990 on time in tax years 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009.

Brown, who leads the volunteer group that allocates the city of Steamboat Springs' half-cent sales tax for education, said she was relieved.

"I really appreciated the board members' patience as we worked through the process," she said. "Sometimes, it's difficult to be patient. Of course we wanted results immediately, but we just needed to get through the process. I just couldn't be happier with the outcome."

Now that it doesn't have to worry about paying penalties, the Fund Board can get to the business of considering requests for funding from the Steamboat Springs, Hayden and South Routt school districts and local community groups.

The districts and community groups will present initial funding requests for the 2011-12 school year tonight during a meeting at the George P. Sauer Human Services Center at 325 Seventh St. The meeting is scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m., with the requests set for 6:15 p.m.

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Steamboat Superintendent Shalee Cunningham presented the district's requests of $1.92 million Monday to her School Board. Steamboat was gifted nearly $1.9 million from the Fund Board last year after requesting more than $2.3 million.

The Hayden School Board in December approved its requests totaling $152,500. Hay­den was granted more than $106,000 in 2010 after requesting nearly $139,000.

South Routt Superintendent Scott Mader said his district still was working Tuesday afternoon to prioritize its requests of $220,843. South Routt received nearly $116,000 last year after requesting more than $135,000.

Community nonprofit organizations Partners in Routt County, Rocky Mountain Youth Corps and Yampatika have requested a combined $113,692 for their school-based programs.

At the December meeting, Fund Board members tentatively set a 2011-12 budget of $2.5 million. It included $80,000 for the Fund Board's grant writer, who serves all three school districts, $30,000 to cover administrative costs and another $50,000 for a new innovation grant for which teachers can apply for funding.

That leaves $2.34 million for the districts and community groups. They requested more than $2.4 million. The Fund Board's 2010-11 budget was $2.31 million, which included $110,000 to pay the grant writer and administrative costs.

After making the initial funding requests, the districts and community groups will make formal requests to the Technology/Capital and Educational Excellence commissions. The commissions will present first readings of requests to the Fund Board in February. The Fund Board will consider second readings in March.

Also at today's meeting, the Fund Board will discuss how to pay the approximately $3,350 in attorney's fees to appeal the IRS penalties. Brown said the board might discuss whether to request that former Fund Board accountant Paul Strong, who was responsible for filing the annual tax returns, pay the fees.

The Fund Board also will consider whether to accept the 2009-10 audit from Bondi & Co., of Englewood whether to approve filing of the Form 990, which was prepared by new Fund Board accountant Linda Johnson.

Fund Board requests

Steamboat Springs (in order of pri­ority)

Effective classrooms: $800,000

Technology: $900,000

Staff development: $40,000

Curriculum director (to share with South Routt): $60,000

Third- through eighth-grade Spanish instruction: $100,000

Summer school (to share with South Routt): $20,000

Total: $1,920,000

Hayden (in order of priority)

Technology support staff member: $50,000

Software license: $7,000

Reading software: $3,000

Middle school paraprofessional: $22,000

SMART Board grant match: $25,000

Computers: $10,000

Adobe software: $10,000

Auditorium lighting: $9,000

Auditorium curtains: $8,200

Auditorium carpet: $8,300

Total: $152,500

South Routt

SMART Board grant match: $86,250

Desktop computers: $30,000

Reading software: $5,498

Antivirus software: $3,000

Science chemical storage and fume hood: $16,500

Heated underground walkway between high and middle schools: $34,595

Curriculum director (to share with Steamboat): $40,000

Summer school (to share with Steamboat) $5,000

Total: $220,843

Community groups

Partners in Routt County school-based mentoring program: $50,000

Rocky Mountain Youth Corps Yampa Valley Science School: $34,000

Yampatika environmental literacy programs: $29,692

Total: $113,692

Total requests:


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