The need to cover costs led the Carbon School Board to approve increases to the school breakfast and lunch program, as well as to Carbon High School’s student fees at their monthly Board meeting held yesterday.
Patti Rigby, Director of District Food Services explained that increases were needed to cover costs associated with serving more healthy foods like whole grains and fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as serving milk in plastic bottles rather than cartons to get more children to drink it with their lunch. These factors, added to fuel surcharges they are now facing are making it increasingly difficult for the food services department to stay within their budget with the current prices.
Rigby proposed that an across-the-board increase of $.05 be added to school breakfast, and a $.10 increase be added to elementary and junior high lunch. These increases would bring prices to $1.05 for elementary breakfast, $1.60 for elementary lunch, $1.15 for junior high breakfast, $1.70 for junior high lunch, $1.15 for high school breakfast, and $2.00 for high school lunch. The board approved the proposed increases.
Principal Greg Stanfield also addressed the board, revealing that current student activities fees at Carbon High School are not covering the activity costs. He asked the Board to approve increases in individual participation fees from $30 to $60, and student activity fees from $40 to $45, and to allow for fees for physical education lockers. He shared that in recent meetings with other schools from Region 12, which Carbon will become part of next year, the fees range anywhere from $75 to $150, so the increased fees were still lower than those of similar schools.
Board President Wayne Woodward expressed some hesitation to raise any fees because of fears that some students may be kept from participation because of the costs, saying “We don’t want to eliminate anybody.” But in light of the understanding that students who qualified for free lunch would also qualify to have these fees covered, and because of the short fall, he and the board approved the increases. They also elected to provide funds from part of the District budget set aside for recreation to help cover the costs of the activities.
Representatives from Zions Bank spoke at the meeting as well, revealing that in working to refinance the District’s general obligation bonds, Moody’s had given the district an A1 bond rating. Zion’s Alex Buxton explained that the rating reflected “the District’s well-maintained financial operations,” and said that “as a whole, the district is in good shape.”
The Board voted to authorize a general bond resolution, which will allow the District’s 2002 general obligation bonds to be refinanced at a 1.42 percent rate, which will provide a savings of over $45,000 by 2015. Buxton congratulated the District on the state of their finances allowing for the savings, saying “It’s always nice to save your taxpayers money.”
The next Carbon School Board Meeting will be held Wednesday, June 15 at 5 p.m.