Our View: Dollar dilemma

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Craig Editorial Board, January 2009 to April 2009

  • Bryce Jacobson, newspaper representative
  • Jennifer L. Grubbs, newspaper representative
  • Collin Smith, newspaper representative
  • Marianna Raftopoulos, community representative
  • Luke Schafer, community representative
  • John Smith, community representative
  • Lois Wymore, community representative

— On Tuesday night, the Craig City Council will attempt to resolve a funding question that arose from the Moffat County School District regarding the possible expansion of a gymnasium project.

The School District's original asking price was $150,000.

However, after alterations to the project - some of which the city requested - and a funding miscalculation, the price has more than doubled and now stands at $365,000.

Whereas once the Editorial Board originally liked the gymnasium idea, its opinion, like the monetary request itself, has changed.

The board still believes that funding the project is worthwhile.

An expanded gymnasium facility would be a benefit to the community, allow for additional space for community use, and perhaps quiet an ongoing and at-times contentious debate regarding a potential community recreational facility.

But, the inconsistency in the school district's numbers - the funding request has gone from $150,000 to $200,000, $250,000 and, finally, $365,000 - is enough to give the board, and likely city officials, reason to have little trust that this last number will hold accurate.

Therefore, the Editorial Board feels the city's best course of action is funding the proposal at its original $150,000 cost and asking school officials to search for other funding partners.

True, it's not an ideal solution.

The school district finds itself $215,000 short of adding another full gymnasium to the Craig Middle School campus and providing the community with another much-needed recreational facility.

But, it's one the school district's calculation errors have made necessary.

The project was a deal at $150,000 and maybe even the $250,000 mark. At the current figure, however, it begins getting into an area where it could seriously deplete the city's $651,000 reserve.

That's a proposition that, during this roller coaster economic time, could prove unwise should the economy worsen and the city finds itself needing that money for other things, like providing public services.

To the school district's credit, officials have looked for other funding sources. Requests to Colorado Northwestern Community College, Moffat County and the Department of Local Affairs were rejected, district officials said.

This raises another point, which is the questionable decision by the county to not fund the project at all. Had the county contributed, perhaps the city wouldn't be asked for such a hefty portion to complete the project.

That being said, the school district pinning all hope and responsibility on the city isn't fair or equitable.

The dollar amount needed, or at least the most recent figure, is unreasonable, the Editorial Board believes, for just one contributor.

Comments

LOVESNOW 5 years, 9 months ago

I think the whole notion of the additional gym should be dropped. Whose to say that the next figure won't be $100,000 higher.

This raises another question that has been bugging me since the school project started. What gives with the position of the School Construction Liason?

I've spoken to local contractors about the issue and have found out: A. Neenan construction already had a Project Supervisor being paid by the bond money that we passed. B. An Asisstant Superintendent with no construction experience is hired as School Construction Liason the day he retires. A part-time job (9 or so days a month) that pays $50,000 from our general tax dollars. C. The job was never advertised. A couple of contractors told me they would jump on that job for 1/2 of the pay. D. Their has been problems with the construction, inacurate information on the gym proposal, and upset teachers and parents on the way the attendance zones were developed.

Sounds like a sweetheart deal to me. I think the school administrators and board need to answer to this.

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taxslave 5 years, 9 months ago

Governments have no money, only what they take from us. The last time I went to City Council there wasn't many people there. These people will do whatever they want unless you fill the room and demand accountability.......

and that's just the way it is.

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Cole White 5 years, 9 months ago

I think this is a good example of how the editorial board doesn't actually base their opinions on any facts. Time after time the CDP editorial board is quick to take a "hard line" stance on a topic before they have any accurate information. I have yet to see them actually back thier positions with sound factual information. It's almost like they get their news from the CDP and if it isn't written down their it didn't happen.

If they did any investigation into a topic before they came out and stated an opinion maybe they would hit the nail once in a while. But since the entire direction of the editorial board is dictated by the editor and the publisher I doubt we would ever see any balanced approach to the board.

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DV8 5 years, 9 months ago

"This raises another point, which is the questionable decision by the county to not fund the project at all. Had the county contributed, perhaps the city wouldn't be asked for such a hefty portion to complete the project."

The County has given the school money. If you look at Moffat county's website, almost half the taxes that are collected go to the school system. I believe the problem is mismanaged funds by administrators, giving themselves extras and making up job positions to former administrators, who may not be fully qualified to help with their retirement.

Let's hope the new superintendant does a better job.

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Ray Cartwright 5 years, 9 months ago

A quote from the article says: "Bergmann and Sheridan said the district does not need two gyms for student activities, and the city's decision would have little to no bearing on the district whichever it decided." end quote. Maybe someone can tell me just why they are even looking at two gyms if they only need one. Did they feel like they needed to spend another $300,000 just for the halibut!!!

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lonelyone 5 years, 9 months ago

I think they came up with this idea to help the City with their gym problem. Parks and Rec, is having trouble getting people to say yes for their pet project and think they don't have enough gym space for all the extra stuff they want to do. So I think this was just a way for the school to have a bigger gym and help out the community too??? I'm not saying the school themselves, want the bigger gym, I'm just saying that's how this would all turn out.

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