College board approves sale of Trapper Fitness, free tuition for Moffat County residents | CraigDailyPress.com

College board approves sale of Trapper Fitness, free tuition for Moffat County residents

CRAIG — The Moffat County Affiliated Junior College District Board on Monday, May 21, approved the sale of the Trapper Fitness Center property and 100 percent tuition buy-down for Moffat County residents for the 2018-19 academic year.

"I propose a one-year, 100-percent tuition buy-down for Moffat County residents to drive enrollment to the college," said college district board Treasurer Andy Daniels.

The college district board controls more than $1.26 million raised in Moffat County from property and specific ownership taxes.

Daniels presented a proposed 2018-19 budget that redirects money from the nursing and emergency medical service programs to increase resident tuition subsidies — buy-down — from 50 to 100 percent, providing free tuition, while also maintaining support of the soccer program in Craig.

Following discussion, the budget was adopted, as proposed, on a split vote. Board members Terry Carwile and Lois Wymore joined Daniels in voting “yes.” Board members Zach Allen and Board President Mike Anson voted “no.”

"I'd like to wait and hear the impact of the decision and give the administration the opportunity to share the impact for program pieces and data from the program pieces," Allen said before casting his “no” vote.

Colorado Northwestern Community College President Ron Granger thinks the decision will leave a $300,000 shortfall for programs.

"We are looking at how we can make that up, but I appreciate what the board is doing and why they are doing it," Granger said.

In April, CNCC Vice President of Finance Scott Rust presented a budget, but when asked by the board, was unable to provide specific programmatic data from the college's budget.

"You can't have it both ways. President Granger and Dr. Nancy J. McCallin are either willing to produce and provide program data and give the board a voice in programs offered at CNCC or (as they have indicated both verbally and in writing), they are not. If they are not, then we shouldn't fund programs in which we have no input or cannot get any accountability from CNCC for their success or failure," Daniels said.

Free tuition is already offered to Rangely residents and was formerly offered in Moffat County.

"I am happy that, instead, we voted to provide a 100-percent tuition buy-down for all residents of Moffat County. Hopefully, the residents will take advantage of this rare opportunity, enrollment will go up at the college and President Granger will not squander this opportunity to increase enrollment numbers and expand programs," Daniels said.

Following a second board decision, current leaseholders and owner-operators of Trapper Fitness Center will be given the option to purchase the facility from the college board.

Originally, the board was scheduled to consider funding repairs to one of the gym floors, but after an executive session, members amended the agenda to instead vote on the sale of the facility.

When the motion was made, four of the five board members approved the sale at fair market value.

Wymore was the only board member to vote against sale of the building.

"I don't want to sell it. I think we should keep it until we have our own gym. I see a lot of possibilities for a gym in our future," Wymore said in an interview following the meeting.

During Monday’s meeting, members of the college district board also:

• Approved the minutes of the regular meeting April 16 and a special meeting, held May 3.

• Tabled the April 30 treasurers report until they are provided a consolidated financial report.

• Received regular reports from Janell Oberlander, vice president Craig Campus/Student Services and Granger. Vice President of Instruction Michelle Landa did not attend the meeting.

• Discussed a visit from Colorado Community College System President Nancy McCallin, which is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, May 29 in room 255 of the Academic Student Services Building, 2801 W. Ninth St.

"I hope that we can come out of that meeting with some sort of plan that we can adhere to between college and board," Anson said.

• Learned the student housing committee will meet with an architect at 11 a.m. Wednesday, May 30, in Room 255 of the Academic Student Services Building, 2801 W. Ninth St.

• Learned that data migration is underway to allow the launch of a new CNCC website during the summer.

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Contact Sasha Nelson at 970-875-1794 or snelson@CraigDailyPress.com.