The conversation about facility use fees for Salida School District R-32-J has had the effect of pushing the district and the city’s recreation department toward a partnership when it comes to administering facility use.

That new cooperation is reflected in the proposed simplified version of the facility fees structure that will be presented to the Salida school board at its meeting tonight.

Salida School District Superintendent David Blackburn explained the cost recovery aspect of the proposed structure to 16 people who attended a presentation Monday.

Utilities, which includes electric and natural gas, cost the district about $263,000 annually. Maintenance and operations combined comes to about $1,416,000 annually.

Factoring in indirect costs at an additional 10.5 percent, that brings the total cost of running school facilities to $1,855,295 per year.

The buildings are available for use from 6 a.m.-10 p.m. when school programming is not in session, an information sheet stated.

Blackburn said dividing that cost by a theoretical 3,848 hours of usage time per year creates a cost of $482.15 per hour.

That total cost was divided by 4 to come up with the hourly usage fee of $120.53, which was rounded off to $120 per hour for simplicity.

District business manager Shiela Moore pointed out the maintenance and operations expenses does not include projects such as replacing a boiler or fixing a roof.

Blackburn said the board’s intent is to fulfill several targets:

• Student programming directed by the district will be subsidized 100 percent after participation fees, including community education events directed by the district.

• Outside youth programming, not directed by the district, will be subsidized 85 percent from non-youth access fees collected.

• Outside adult, community and non-youth uses will be subsidized 35 percent from the general fund.

• Users who work through the city department of recreation will be subsidized at an additional 15 percent.

If working through the recreation department, adult groups would therefore pay 50 percent, or $60 per hour, for facility use, and outside youth groups would be fully subsidized.

Provisions to the proposed structure include:

• Groups affiliated with and promoting recognized school functions may use the buildings without charge.

• Organizations intended to serve youth younger than 21, such as Boys Scouts of America, Girl Scouts of America, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Future Farmers of America and other groups listed under Title 36 of the U.S. Code may use school property upon payment of suitable fees and/or costs, according to the fee schedule recommended by the superintendent and approved by the Board of Education.

Other provisions include a district employee being present and paid for by the organization renting the facility, unless they volunteer their time to the organization.

When a cafeteria is used, it must be under supervision of a school employee, whose salary will be reimbursed to the district for the time worked.

Those employees as well as audio-visual assistance and janitorial dedicated coverage would be charged at $35 per hour.

Desirae Westphal, a parent, whose husband coaches, questioned having youth programming pay anything at all.

Several attending voiced their agreement.

Amberlyn Lake, a teacher who has helped run youth sports, said if the district’s goal for students is graduation, sometimes sports is a way to get them there.

Blackburn said he would take that question back to the board during their discussion of the fee structure tonight.

He said the first meeting in February provided some good feedback from a sector not usually heard from, although the dominating number of representatives came from sports. Other user groups such as performing arts have not been heard from.

The key thing about the follow-up meeting was the opportunity to explain the cost recovery to attendees.

Blackburn said the city will have to grow into the role of administrator for facility use. He said he was pleased the community feedback received during the February meeting asked for the city and the school district to work together to find a solution to the facility usage and administration problem.

“I was pleasantly surprised because that freed us up to pursue that partnership,” he said.

The Salida school board meets at 6 p.m. today at the Kesner Building boardroom, 349 E. Ninth St.

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