MSD budget available; only $150,000 of reserve funds needed

MEEKER I Meeker School District’s RE-1 (MSD) budget for fiscal year 2014-15 is available at the administration building for public review. The budget estimates $5.7 million in revenue, $5.8 million in expenses with a $150,000 deficit to be covered by reserves.

The MSD Board voted to refinance a portion of the elementary school bonds for an estimated savings of $57,000 annually. By law, the savings would go to paying down the principle on the bonds.
The Great Outdoors Colorado grant for resurfacing the high school track was 12 out of 36 proposals. Of the nine selected, all had been submitted before. The Meeker Education Foundation will resubmit the application in August with the changes suggested.
There were public comments at the MSD board meeting in support of Kim Kendall and Stacie Kincher, secretaries at Meeker High School. It was announced that both secretary positions would be let go and an advertisement was placed in the June 5 edition of the Herald Times for a new head secretary.
MHS seniors Ohana Mataia, Alyssa Ridings, Morgan Robb and John McHatton Sheridan, and several parents spoke about how important Kim Kendall and Stacie Kincher had been to their success and their disappointment in the decision to eliminate their positions.
“The secretary positions were eliminated due to budget cuts,” said Kim Ibach, principal of Meeker High School. She went on to say after the meeting that this measure had been considered since January and the new head secretary position would have more administrative duties. She said Kendall and Kincher are welcome to apply for the new position.
Chris Foreback, the alternative school teacher, resigned and Ibach presented a plan to have a computer-based approach for the alternative school. The cost estimate was $8,000 to $11,000 per year for those services.
No specifics were given on the administration of the program, but the computer-based courses could likely be done from home or at school and would have less instruction from teachers.
Roy Wedding gave a report on school transportation based on a recent audit from the Colorado Department of Education (CDE). The main CDE finding was that the shops were inadequate for vehicle service and inspection. The current facility was built in 1950 and can house all the buses, but with no room to spare for working on them.
Since the shop is just long enough for the buses, most of the mechanical and inspection work on the buses is done outdoors, regardless of weather.
In the summer, each bus is parked diagonally in the shop with all the other buses outside to allow enough room to complete the annual inspections.
“We have done the best we can with what we have, and will continue as long as needed,” said Roy Wedding, speaking for himself and mechanic Vaughn Moodie.
The MSD board made an exception for science teacher Bev DeVore-Wedding to allow a one-year leave of absence. MSD policy requires teachers to request leave of absences by March 1 to allow for hiring a substitute. DeVore-Wedding did not have a formal offer until May from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to develop computer-based curriculum at the University of Nebraska.
The measure to rescind the policy passed with all yeas except Bill DeVergie (Mindy Burke was absent).
Superintendent Mark Meyer said Tuesday, “The MSD Board will consider taking sealed bids for the BLM property and will also be looking at the current Rock School tenant situation.”
What is called the “BLM property” is near the junction of Highway 13 and 64, west of Meeker, and includes a building and garages. The Rock School is along County Road 5 near Piceance Creek.