Grand County education committee aims for funding proposal by month’s end |

Grand County education committee aims for funding proposal by month’s end

Tonya Bina
Sky-Hi News
Grand County, CO Colorado

HOT SULPHUR SPRINGS – The Town of Hot Sulphur Springs has joined the Town of Kremmling in declining to appoint a representative to the educational ad hoc committee assembled to explore long-term solutions to school funding in Grand County.

The Hot Sulphur Springs Town Board discussed the appointment at its March 17 town meeting.

“We just didn’t have anyone on the board that day who was interested in participating on it,” said Hot Sulphur Board member Dan Nolan.

Of consideration during the board’s discussion, he said, was “the committee seemed like it was stacked toward the east end of the county,” which has a “specific interest.”

The Hot Sulphur board also found it “a little inappropriate that it appeared you could buy your way onto the committee. If the town had contributed funds, they could get an extra voting member on the committee – that didn’t sit well with some folks,” Nolan said.

Hot Sulphur Springs Mayor Hershal Deputy said the town board has had conversations in the past similar to those of the town board of Kremmling, which publicly responded to the ad-hoc invitation saying it did not support a possible sales tax increase or other sources outside statutorily authorized school funding, and therefore would not be sending a Kremmling representative to join the board.

Despite the Town of Hot Sulphur Spring’s lack of participation on the ad-hoc committee, “We are interested in the issue of quality education,” Nolan said. “If somebody wanted to step forward from the town (to sit on the committee), such as a citizen, that would be fine,” he continued.

The Three Lakes Watershed Association, which contributed to the cause to keep schools open for the 2011-2012 school year, also has not appointed someone.

“We could not come up with anyone able to do that,” said Three Lakes board member Canton (Scally) O’Donnell, “and felt that the Town (of Grand Lake) could represent our thinking.”

The ad-hoc committee has met twice so far, Thursday nights at the Mountain Parks Electric building in Granby. The goal, said committee member Gary Bumgarner of Grand County, “is to have a recommendation by the end of April.”

Ron Nelson, who joined the committee as the representative of the East Grand Education Foundation of the Grand Foundation, has been appointed chairman of the committee.

“It’s gone well,” Nelson said of the committee’s discussions so far. “I feel good about how everybody has been respectful of others’ opinions and has tried to come to solutions.”

The committee meetings have been well-attended, Nelson said, and the committee should have its recommendation in one or two more meetings.

Nelson did not comment on which proposed solution has gained the most traction so far.

“No choices are easy ones,” he said. “We’ll do our best to make (a decision) that has the least financial impact on the community, but one that helps the schools.”

– Tonya Bina can be reached at 970-887-3334 ext. 19603

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