School Board votes to bill city $148,000 for harm from mountain URA | SteamboatToday.com
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School Board votes to bill city $148,000 for harm from mountain URA

Financial harm to the Steamboat Springs School District from the mountain URA

2010-11: $28,419

2011-12: $152,176

2012-13: $159,110

2013-14: $149,093

2014-15: $132,693

Total: $621,491

Amount owed to the district based on a maximum $30,000 reimbursement annually

2010-11: $28,419

2011-12: $30,000

2012-13: $30,000

2013-14: $30,000

2014-15: $30,000

Total: $148, 419

In other action:

Strategic plan: The board voted unanimously in favor of accepting the district’s new strategic plan. Superintendent Brad Meeks will now work with staff to begin implementing a series of action plans that are part of the overall strategic plan.

BOCES: The board unanimously approved a 2015-16 operating agreement with Northwest Colorado Board of Cooperative Educational Services to provide special education programs. Meeks said the agreement was relatively unchanged from the 2014-15 operating agreement.

Budget/CBT update: The board heard from Finance Director Dale Mellor on potential budget implications for seven different options for giving raises to teachers through Collaborative Bargaining Team negotiations. The options were informational for the board and have yet to be presented to the CBT team.

CBT meets from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday at the district office boardroom at 325 Seventh St.

The board also saw a list of potential budget changes for the 2015-16 budget. A preliminary community budget presentation takes place at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at Steamboat Springs High School at 45 East Maple St.

— The Steamboat Springs School Board voted 3-1 in favor of billing the city of Steamboat Springs for financial harm from the city’s taxing mechanism used to fund the Base Area Reinvestment Plan.

The board’s vote directs the school district administration to bill the city $148,419 for financial harm caused since 2010.

Board President Roger Good and members Robin Crossan and Joey Andrew voted in favor of billing the city. Board member Scott Bideau voted against the motion, and member Sherri Sweers was not present.



The amount represents a fraction of what the district may truly be owed, according to Good, and represents harm the district has suffered since 2010, when a state funding shortfall and change in the funding formula meant the state would no longer be able to backfill funding for districts where taxes had been diverted for an urban renewal authority.

District administration believes it has lost out on about $600,000 in tax money from the base area URA since 2010, and a City Council resolution from 2005 resolved that if such harm were to occur, the city would pay the district a maximum of $30,000 per year to offset it.



“I feel very comfortable asking the city for this money, I really do,” Crossan said. “It was in place, it was approved, and shame on us for not following up on it.”

Crossan said she hopes that in the future, the city would be billed on an annual basis by the district if harm were to occur.

Good said he’s received input from those within and outside of the Steamboat community that the URA and tax increment financing are harmful to school districts.

He said he expects letters asserting the harm from URAs and TIFs to districts to come from Rep. Diane Mitsch Bush, Colorado School Finance Project Executive Director Tracy Rainey and former Colorado Sen. Steve Johnson, who is a steering committee officer for Colorado Counties Inc.

Bideau said while he does believe school districts are harmed by URAs and TIF, he was torn on the subject and uncomfortable with the language in the city’s 2005 resolution.

Prior to the vote, he did say that he didn’t believe there was any harm in sending the invoice to the city.

In other action:

Strategic plan: The board voted unanimously in favor of accepting the district’s new strategic plan. Superintendent Brad Meeks will now work with staff to begin implementing a series of action plans that are part of the overall strategic plan.

BOCES: The board unanimously approved a 2015-16 operating agreement with Northwest Colorado Board of Cooperative Educational Services to provide special education programs. Meeks said the agreement was relatively unchanged from the 2014-15 operating agreement.

Budget/CBT update: The board heard from Finance Director Dale Mellor on potential budget implications for seven different options for giving raises to teachers through Collaborative Bargaining Team negotiations. The options were informational for the board and have yet to be presented to the CBT team.

CBT meets from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday at the district office boardroom at 325 Seventh St.

The board also saw a list of potential budget changes for the 2015-16 budget. A preliminary community budget presentation takes place at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at Steamboat Springs High School at 45 East Maple St.

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


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