Preparing for Thursday’s big vote

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School board and county council to make history

By Carol A. Clark

As years of negotiations draw to a close, last minute concerns regarding the Trinity Site Revitalization Project and Airport Basin Site facilities lease were expressed at Tuesday’s school board meeting.

Former school board members Louie Janecky and Alison Beckman told the board they are worried about the expense of it all as well as exposure aspects of the deal on the district.

Janecky encouraged the board to move the administrative offices into buildings already owned by the district that are not generating rent rather than incurring some $3 million in Pueblo Complex renovation expenses.

Beckman was heavily involved in negotiations and expressed concern about several issues but said her main concern is the cost of demolishing the administration buildings on Trinity Drive.

Local business leader Ron Selvage suggested the board look at moving the administration offices into foreclosed property in White Rock saying it would be much less expensive.

County Administrator Tony Mortillaro attended Tuesday’s school board meeting in the district boardroom.

“Originally, you were going to pay for demolition and the cost of the move. The only exposure to the district is what you decide to spend on your relocation expenses,” Mortillaro told the board.

He also reminded them that the district pays no rent for its warehouse facilities at Airport Basin until revenues are generated and the rent is structured by the amount of revenue.

School Board President Joan Ahlers has served as the lead negotiator for the district for some three years.

“Even if we were a bunch of morons – and that would make me the queen moron because I negotiated this deal – we still have the State Board of Finance who will go over this with a fine tooth comb,” Ahlers told audience members.

With the district’s attorney John Kennedy’s approval, the three final documents including the Airport Basin Facilities Lease Agreement, the Master Ground Lease Agreement and the Agreement Regarding Leases and Conveyances of Real Property for the Trinity Revitalization Project were distributed to the five member board.

The school board will meet in a joint session at 7 p.m. Thursday in council chambers to finalize the agreements.