The school district’s newly formed youth and recreation program – The Gardner Edgerton Youth & Community Programs – will be funded thru participation and ancillary revenues, according to officials.
“The GEYCP budget will have no impact to the USD 231 mill levy,” according to information provided by Deb Starling, Freedom of Information officer.
Both the city and county also provide similar youth and recreation programs. School officials did not respond to e mail asking what had been done to garner public input on the new program.
According to USD 231, the GEYCP budget is planned to be fully supported through participation fees and other ancillary revenues.
“The program will be administered under the extraordinary school fund beginning in 2017-18,” according to Deb Starling, USD 231. “Estimated annual revenues and expenditures are expected to approximate $250,000, with variations possible due to program enrollments.”
The district recently created two new positions for about $154,000 to oversee the GEYCP. Assuming registration fees are $50, the district would need about 5,000 participants to break even, assuming no additional, associated program costs.
“The general fund in 2016-17 is supporting the initial costs associated with the YCP program implementation” said Leeann Northway, public information officer. “As with any fee-based program, there are implementation costs needed to prepare for future programming.  In 2017-18, the extraordinary school fund budget (Fund 22) will be used for YCP accounting.  Fund 22 does not have a mill levy. The startup expenses were $10,000 from the General fund.”
There was not an extraordinary school fund budgeted for in the last two years.
“The intent is for surplus funds generated from YCP to reimburse the general fund, “Northway continued. “ Additional general fund costs, such as utility costs, will be charged to the extraordinary school fund to the extent surplus funds are available.”
Information supplied by Gardner city under a Kansas Open Records request indicate programs they provided for women’s, co ed and youth volleyball were break even at best, and operated at a loss if advertising, promotional or administrative/programming staff time and administration were included.
City staff indicate about 600 youth participated in fall and winter’s volleyball and basketball programs. The city paid facilities usage fees to USD 231. City and district had operated under a cooperative agreement that began about 2012.
Similar recreational programs now being provided by the school should have no changes for permanent city staff, according to Gardner officials.
“The parks and recreation department provides so many other quality of life services and events that keep our staff busy, that we don’t foresee any changes for permanent staff; however, there will be reduced hours for part-time seasonal staff,” city officials say.
According to the USD 231 website: All GEYCP sessions and activities are led by Gardner Edgerton School District staff and students. Each session will include a variety of activities such as arts and crafts, games, relays, snack making and more. Activities will change daily based on interest, and participants will be able to choose what activity they want to participate in. Each day and each session can be a different experience.
Officials indicate the GEYCP will be self supporting.
Questions posed to USD 231 that have not been answered at press time include: How will (start up costs) be refunded (reimbursed) once/if GEYCP breaks even? Where is reference to GEYCP in prior minutes that are posted online or in committee minutes, What was done to assess public interest/support in the GEYCP? And why was this program necessary?
One of the first event’s offered on the website is: “On June 17, GEYCP will be hosting the first GE Lightning Track and Field Classic at the GEHS District Activity Center. The meet will include sprint, distance, relay and field events for all ages, both team and individuals. The entry fee is $12 for early entry fee (deadline is June 9), $15 after deadline. Final registration deadline is June 16.