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School board fields funding, employee related issues

Sun Advocate publisher

Last Wednesday night, Lane Herrick approached the Carbon County Board of Education about funding for the baseball program.

Herrick has been part of the program for 14 years and headed it for the last nine. He explained to the board that he not only took on the baseball program, but a field that was deplorable.

Herrick explained that he and local volunteers have spent hundreds of hours in support of the program, students and baseball. Community entities have been generous with time and talent, taking on the field to make it safe and functional.

Four years ago, the school district budgeted $25,000 for materials and supplies to be used for the field. The money was used to purchase items for necessary improvements that weren't covered by private and community contributions.

When the money was deleted, Herrick returned to the board for more revenue, applying for capital outlay funds like he had in the past. However, the board took exception to the carte blanche approach and questioned why Herrick did not have the project itemized.

He told the board that there are still several projects such as an access road, parking lot, and restrooms.

"I would hope the school district and the baseball program can work together as the district considers a partnership with Price city to construct the girl's softball field," said Herrick.

However, the board explained that the school district cannot give one field special funding consideration.

Although the board voiced appreciation for his dedication and the community support, the education board members advised Herrick to itemize projects and budget accordingly, then go to Carbon High School principal Robert Cox and have the requests reviewed. The members also invited Herrick to return to the board with an itemized budget.

Following the discussion about the baseball program, the board approved earmarking approximately $3 million in capital outlay project funding, of which about $850,000 will be used toward textbooks. Other major projects included repairs, technology and a new roof.

In addition, the board members voted to eliminate one of three bus purchase requests and approved the district's capital outlay budget.

During the May 12 meeting, Angel Dalpiaz appeared before the board of education in an attempt to clear up an issue involving the aides at Sally Mauro Elementary School in Helper. Several aides will be terminated at the end of the school year because of budget constraints and a shrinking student population at the school.

Since the administration is not sure where the district will be with the budget until closer to the beginning of next school year, the officials gave notice to all the aides. The part-time employees were told they would need to reapply if they want to be considered for being hired back.

"I realize the cuts are necessary and should be a consideration to cut costs. However, I would really like to know why we would be part of a pool of aides and not hired back in a priority based on service or sorority," indicated Dalpiaz.

The board explained to Dalpiaz and the other aides at the meeting that the district must follow state policy. The aides will be rehired one at a time and the decision will not be based on a committee from the school. The board reassured Dalpaiz that the committee takes experience into consideration when considering the rehires.

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