County Rec will lose funding from Carbon School District
Recreation programs expected to continue
During last week's board meeting, the Carbon School District voted unanimously to cut their funding to Carbon County Recreation. While funding will terminate later this year, the county program and school district will continue to work together, sharing facilities and resources.
The decision to cut funding came directly following the school board's decision to not impose a judgment levy on area residents and was a very difficult move, according to Carbon District Superintendent Steve Carlsen.
"This wasn't easy for the board to do as we know Carbon County Recreation is a quality program," he said. "We have made cuts in many areas to make sure student education didn't lose anything."
According to several individuals close to the funding decision, the cut was set in motion more than three years ago, when the Utah State Legislature decided to take many small tax levies, including recreation, and move them into the district's general funding package. Prior to that decision, the district received line item funding for school recreation, meaning that a certain amount of state funds had to be used for student recreation.
When that line item was moved into a general funding allotment, it gave districts all across the state more flexibility when it came to how their state revenue could be spent.
Prior to last week's funding cut, the district was providing $61,600 to the recreation department.
For new Carbon County Recreation Director Frank Ori, any cut is difficult to take, but he felt that County Rec would be able to go forward without having to cut any programs or increase any costs to participants.
According to Ori, the county program had been watching for the funding change ever since the legislature made their move three session ago. And with that lead time they were able to prepare.
"We understand that the decision was made at the legislature long ago, and we understand the position the district is in," he said. "We appreciate the support the school district has always given our program and look forward to a strong continued relationship with area schools."
Ori took over as the county's interim director in early February and was awarded the job of Carbon County Recreation Director on August 1. For Ori, the opportunity was one he has wanted for a long time.
"I started working for the recreation department when I was 19 years old in 1993," he told the county commission when they honored retiring director Steve Christensen. "And from day one my goal was to become the director. It's all I've wanted for 21 years, because I love this community and I love making Carbon County a better place to live."
Ori reported that Carbon County Clerk Seth Oveson had reported to the department that despite the cut, the recreation department would be able to continue operations as budgeted for earlier in the year.
While the funding cut was decided upon last week, the district will continue to deliver funds to CCR through the third quarter of 2014. The district will provide $46,200 in funding this calendar year.