School Cuts Could Affect Rec Center | Big Horn Basin Media

School Cuts Could Affect Rec Center

Written by on April 11, 2017

Concern over budget issues have school board members considering making cuts to the middle and high school swim program.

In budget discussions and public hearings, school board members have considered cutting the swim program in order to save the $40,000 annual payment to the City for use of the Rec Center facility. But at the last Board meeting, it was brought up that there is some question as to what that $40,000 actually pays for – is it just use of the swimming pool, or a wider range of use such as parks and other City facilities?

Cody Parks and Recreation Director Rick Manchester says that the $40,000 paid to the City by the School district is not a contractual obligation – it was a gesture from the district when they chose to eliminate their own swimming pool and made an agreement with the City to use the newly constructed Rec Center for their swim lessons and swimming programs.

Manchester points out that should the school choose to discontinue the swim program, it might save the school district money, but it would negatively impact the Rec Center – the City would still have to pay staff and the associated costs with operating a swimming pool.

And Manchester points out that without the money coming in from the school, the City would need to make up the difference, which could mean increases in fees, or a reduction in services.

The School board continues to deliberate over how to make cuts that must total over a million dollars per year. These decisions have been made necessary by the major financial crisis stemming from a downturn in the oil and gas industry, which historically has funded the state’s K-12 school system.

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