Granby " East Grand Board of Education rejects charter school’s funding request
December 17, 2008
Granby, Colorado ” The East Grand Board of Education on Tuesday rejected Indian Peaks Charter School’s request for money in lieu of land.
The school recently requested up to $94,000 of the $1 million of money-in-lieu of land earmarked for the East Grand School District. Charter school officials wanted the money to augment Indian Peaks’ ongoing building project.
Indian Peaks asked for $21,000 for a fire alarm system; between $5,000 and $35,000 to install a fire hydrant; $15,000 to replace kitchen equipment; $12,000 to pay an add-on cost for decking, skirting and handrails; $10,000 to move a main electrical power line; and $750 to replace a skeleton.
The administration’s recommendation was to loan the charter school up to $47,000.
“We appreciate the consideration,” said Polly Gallagher, Indian Peaks principal, though she said she was not receptive to the loan idea.
“I think it sets precedence in regards to money-in-lieu of land,” she said. “So I have hesitation and concern there … by us establishing that it’s going to be a loan-relationship.”
East Grand Superintendent Nancy Karas said the board has honored its obligation by providing Indian Peaks the $400,000 it promised, and that the loan would allow the school to take care its financial issues. It was not their intention to set precedence on how the charter school would access money in lieu of land, she added.
“That’s probably what the question is: Do we want to pay an additional (up to) $47,000?” asked Board of Education President Tom Sifers. “Or do we want to lend it, or do we just want to go on our way and say we met our commitment.”
Board member Mike Thompson said the district should be careful spending money-in-lieu of land. “I think that well’s going to be dry for a while ” the way the economy is going,” he added.
Board member Barbara Ahrens made a motion to pay up to $47,000 from the bond premiums, to install the fire hydrant and move the electrical line, without requiring the school to repay the district. The rest of the board did not favor this option.
Board member Melissa Quinn then made a motion to approve the administration’s recommendation to lend the money to they school, but it also died when it did not get support from the rest of the board members.
Indian Peaks could come back with another proposal. “Then we would have an obligation to review the request,” Sifers said.
“Thank you very much for consideration,” Gallagher said.
” Katie Looby covers government and education for the Sky-Hi Daily News. You may reach her at 887-3334 ext. 19601 or email@example.com.