District budget cuts: Strings attached to any possible sale of Rideout | SierraSun.com

District budget cuts: Strings attached to any possible sale of Rideout

Kyle Magin
Sierra Sun

TRUCKEE, Calif. ” A question has been floating around the Truckee blogosphere lately: Why doesn’t the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District sell Rideout Elementary, the building leased to the Tahoe City Public Utility District for sports recreation leagues?

Ditto for Sierra Middle School and Tahoe Lake school.

Well, said Superintendent Steve Jennings, selling the buildings is an idea on the table to dig the School District out of its projected $3 million shortfall for the 2009-10 school year.

But, he said, not a very likely one.

“We have a projected growth down the road in Truckee and even minimal growth at the lake side,” Jennings said. “That’s something to think about when building a new facility would range between $40-$150 million.”

Both Rideout and Sierra Middle have been appraised at about $3 million, Jennings said, and neither has received any interest from investors to either use the sites or tear them down and build new structures on them.

It isn’t the only reason to think again about selling the properties, Jennings said.

Selling the properties would come with a penalty from the state of California.

The state will not provide a school district with any facilities funds for a period of 10 years after a district divests of properties.

That means the district couldn’t leverage the state for funds to decrease the cost of future bond measures.

According to a frequently asked questions brochure available at the School District’s Web site, http://www.ttusd.org, the schools have received about $33 million in state facilities funds over the last 10 years, something Jennings said plays a huge role in reducing the cost of any bond measure.

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