At its March 20 meeting in Glenwood Springs, the Colorado Mountain College Board of Trustees unanimously voted to accept a feasibility report on the Salida School District’s candidacy to join the CMC taxing district.

Chaffee, Grand and Jackson counties are currently the three counties in CMC’s service area but not in its taxing district. As such, they receive limited services from the college but don’t qualify for its in-district tuition rates. The Salida School District is one of two school districts within Chaffee County, and it has requested that the CMC Board of Trustees consider annexing it into the CMC district.

The annexation feasibility report includes an analysis of projected enrollment, revenue and demographic trends, and academic program options. The report was prepared by CMC staff. Two dozen letters of support from community businesses, schools, organizations and governments, collected by the Salida School District superintendent, were also included in the report.

Later the evening of March 20, the Salida School Board also voted unanimously to accept the findings of the feasibility study. The next steps for the school district and CMC are to prepare coordinated ballot language and board resolutions in preparation for placing questions on the November ballot. In that election, voters from both the area served by that school district and the six full or partial counties already in the CMC district would decide whether the annexation will occur. The last time a school district joined the CMC taxing district was when the Steamboat Springs School District joined the college in the early 1980s.

The CMC trustees also approved, on second reading, the draft of a three-year lease with the Buena Vista School District, starting July 1, of the college’s Chaffee County Academic Center in Buena Vista. A third and final reading will be held after CMC staff consult with leadership in the Buena Vista School District.

Trustees also unanimously approved:

  • The execution of a water easement agreement with Eagle River Water & Sanitation District, documentation of the rights granted when the Edwards campus building was constructed.
  • An amendment to the contract with Haselden Construction, to cover renovation of the existing Student Center at Spring Valley, site work and additional funds for owner contingency.
  • On first reading, with conditions, a proposed contract from Dominion Energy regarding relocating a gas line that currently exists on CMC’s Rifle campus. Two more readings will be held.
  • Board meeting dates for 2019-20
  • A faculty sabbatical request for 2019-20
  • On third reading, an observatory donation to the Steamboat Springs campus
  • Remodeling of a wing in the Spring Valley residential hall
  • Breckenridge housing rates for 2019-20 (an increase of 3 percent over current rates).

In Wednesday’s meeting, trustees also unanimously voted to oppose SB19-188, also known as the FAMLI Family Medical Leave Insurance Program, because the bill before the legislature would increase college operating costs and adversely impact the quality of benefits currently offered to college employees.