Trustees delay decision on community school use fees

School trustees have delayed approval of their proposed new fee structure for community use of schools.

As students head out for spring break today, people can take heart in knowing school trustees have delayed approval of their proposed new fee structure for community use of schools.

The trustees deferred action on the controversial fee changes during their  regular Feb. 25 meeting after receiving a great deal of negative feedback from the public on its website poll and a request from Williams Lake city council for more time to examine the issue.

The proposed policy would see increases in the user fee structure that would “ensure full cost recovery of direct and indirect costs” for public use of schools. There would be no rental fees charged at this time for use of school grounds.

Schools are used by many community groups for all sorts of after school sports and community activities such as Scouts and Guides. Higher fees would adversely affect many of these programs according to opposition fielded on the district’s website poll.

During their February meeting the trustees approved several other bylaws.

They adopted the annual operating budget bylaw for the 2013-2014 school year in the amount of $62,964,209.

A new whistleblower policy was endorsed along with amendments to existing policies regarding treatment of anaphylactic shock; and a policy for child care providers operating in schools.

The board is also currently seeking input from the public on revisions proposed to its employee travel policy, to reflect changes in the district’s new collective agreement with the International Union of Operating Engineers. Feedback on the policy changes will be accepted on district website at until March 20.

The trustees are also working on a self-review of their governance structure.

It was also announced that the district will received $9,765 for its Carbon Neutral Capital Program.

BC Hydro Power Smart recognized the disrict for its participation in the Power Smart Partner Program. The energy efficient re-lamping project at Lake City Secondary’s Williams Lake campus (formerly Williams Lake Secondary) saved 204,000 kWh, the equivalent of powering 18 homes for a full year!

The trustees congratulated all staff who worked on the re-lamping project including team leaders Alex Telford, manager of facilities and transportation; Kevin Rosse, mechanical and electrical lead hand; Brandy Links, electrician.

Lake City Secondary School was also given approval in principle for students and their chaperones to participate in a trip to Austria and Italy during the 2015 spring break.

The new school calendars and school fees were also approved for the coming 2014-2015 school year.