Community Committee for Education continues discussing district needs | SteamboatToday.com

Community Committee for Education continues discussing district needs

The Community Committee for Education held a series of community forums to gather feedback about the Steamboat Springs School District.

— Community Committee For Education, or CC4E, continues to make slow progress in its efforts to gather community feedback and study the needs of the Steamboat Springs School District.

The group met Tuesday to discuss the next steps after a series of forums held in late March and agreed to continue accepting feedback from the public indefinitely.

"We will always take comments; that never stops," said Robin Schepper, a committee member and co-chair of the District Accountability Committee. "I think we need to keep that communication flow going."

The committee collected more than 1,500 community comments through the forums, filling more than 70 pages of feedback from community members.

All the comments are on the committee's website, cc4e.org, and committee members are working to categorize the comments based on topic.

The group held an informal discussion Tuesday about different types of tax-based funding mechanisms, such as mill levy overrides and bonds, to pay for deferred maintenance, all-day kindergarten, general fund operating expenses or construction.

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The district had previously identified about $15 million in prioritized deferred maintenance needs across the district.

"We have some real capital renewal needs now," said superintendent Brad Meeks.

CC4E members discussed creating a sub-committee to review the district's maintenance list, along with members of the local construction industry.

Some committee members expressed interest in working toward bringing a potential mill levy override to voters as early as November to pay for maintenance only, not any new buildings.

One option discussed was to propose a mill levy override that would sunset after only a few years.

Meeks said if the committee were planning to recommend something for the November ballot, it should let the Board of Education know by early June to allow the board time to place the issue on the ballot.

The committee has tentative plans to meet with a handful of local community groups to continue gathering feedback about the district.

It also plans to be the featured guest during Steamboat Today's next Coffee and a Newspaper event, set for 7:30 to 9 a.m. May 4 at the newspaper office, 1901 Curve Plaza.

Updates about the committee's work can be found on the group's website or Facebook page.

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