Steamboat Springs Education Fund Board expects $530,000 more for 2015-16 | SteamboatToday.com

Steamboat Springs Education Fund Board expects $530,000 more for 2015-16

Editor’s note: The type of tax collected for the Education Fund Board has been corrected in this version of the story.

The Steamboat Springs Education Fund Board expects to have about $3.89 million in its budget for 2015-16, about $530,000 more than last year.

The board typically places $500,000 of that money in a reserve fund and expects to spend $30,000 on administrative costs, leaving about $3.36 million to disperse in grants.

The Fund Board met Wednesday evening to discuss its forecasted budget for the year and other items.

"This year, we have about $530,000 more at our disposal, so that's good news," said Fund Board President Kristi Brown. "That's great news."

The Fund Board and its grant commission has already allocated $105,000 to community group grants.

It has also committed $152,000 to the Northwest Colorado Board of Cooperative Education Services and its i3 Innovation Grant, but the Fund Board chose Wednesday to dole out that money in four payments, beginning with $38,000 during the 2015-16 budget year.

The increase in funding for the Fund Board is based on a forecasted increase in sales taxes of more than 10 percent, above and beyond a previous forecasted 5 percent increase in the amount the board would receive.

The board discussed whether or not to continue keeping a $500,000 reserve, or to increase the amount based on the larger funding for the year.

Board members also talked about whether they might be interested in setting aside a portion of its budget for the district's upcoming capital construction project.

Members of the Fund Board and the grant commission said they've been approached in recent weeks by School Board President Roger Good about the possibility of contributing some amount of money to the district's project, which could involve the construction of a new elementary school or some other type of capital project.

Because the school district has not decided what its capital project is or whether a bond measure to fund it would go on a 2015 or 2016 ballot, members of the Fund Board said it would be difficult to decide how they might be involved.

"I'm not opposed to this concept at all, but it's a complicated thing," said Fund Board member Dean Massey, who also sits on the board’s grant commission.

The Fund Board also considered the possibility of beginning to set aside money each year for some type of capital construction in any of the three local school districts, rather than spending down all of the available funds each year.

The Fund Board didn't make any final decision on whether to change its reserve fund amount or to set aside some money for capital construction. Both items will be on the agenda again at the board’s April 8 meeting.

To reach Teresa Ristow, call 970-871-4206, email tristow@SteamboatToday.com or follow her on Twitter @TeresaRistow