RED FEATHER LAKES PLANNING ADVISORY COMMITTEE
FIRE HOUSE MEETING ROOM
44 Fire House Lane, Red Feather Lake
October 15, 2009
The meeting was called to order at 1:32 p.m. by Chairperson Ted Carter.
Members in Attendance : Gene Allen, Susan Bradley, Ted Carter, Dennis Frydendall, Bill Gilbert, Ross Reid, Lucille Schmitt, Michael Sledge, Roger Svendsen, Bud Thomas
Members Excused Absences : All other members had excused absences
Adoption of Agenda : All RFLPAC members approved the adoption of the agenda.
Approval of Minutes : The September 10, 2009, minutes were approved as corrected by all RFLPAC members.
Communications from Committee Members : None
Larimer County Representation : Jill Bennett, LARCO Planning;
Guests Present : Tom Viola, Judy Viola, Sherry Mooers, Stephen Johnson, Charlene Tipton, June K. Dreith, Floyd Edmonds, Teresa Jiles, Martin Jiles, Diana Lustick, Joey Moncayo, Paul Hewlett, Sue Wright, Pat Carlson, Terri Donnelly, Mary Douglas, Shilo Sagert, Sue Stevens, Nancy West, Bev Bishop, Donna Sayler, Lon C. Hughes, Rob Helmick, Jo Johnson, Mary Keller, Jenny Powelson, Pat Bradley
Communications from County Representatives : deferred to end of meeting
Comments from the Audience : Tom Viola made a presentation regarding the possible closure of the Red Feather Lakes Elementary School at the end of this school year. Mr. Viola researched studies of school closures in other rural communities and offered the following possible impact on Red Feather Lakes:
Concerned community members asked the PAC for a resolution in support of keeping the school open, as well as individual members communicating their concern to the School Board and County Commissioners and signing a petition asking to keep the school open. The final decision will be made early in December, so action needs to be taken as soon as possible.
DISCUSSION ITEMS :
A motion was made by Susan B. and seconded by Bud T. that a letter stating PAC’s objection to the school closer be written within the next few days, approved by PAC members by email, and sent to the School Board.
PAC members agreed to listen to more comments from the visitors before voting on the motion:
Bill G called the question. A roll call vote was taken:
Gene Allen yes
Gene Barker absent
Susan Bradley yes
Ted Carter yes
Terry Ferebee absent
Dennis Frydendall no
Bill Gilbert yes
Eunice Michalka absent
Ross Reid yes
Lucille Schmitt yes
Michael Sledge yes
Roger Svendsen yes
Bud Thomas yes
Michael S. volunteered to work with Judy and Tom Viola to craft the letter and send it to the PAC members by email within 2 days.
A motion was made by Lucille S. and seconded by Roger S. that a copy of the letter be sent to any and all media or authority organizations. The motion passed.
A motion was made by Gene A. and seconded by Roger S. that the meeting be extended no longer than 4:00. The motion passed.
Road Subcommittee and Public Hearing on October 21
Wood Sort Lot
Jill Bennett announced that she will be retiring at the end of this year. Rob Helmick will be the County Representative beginning in January 1010.
RFLPAC meeting adjourned at 4:05 p.m.
Letter concerning potential school closure
Sent to North Forty News October 19, 2009
The Red Feather Lakes
Planning Advisory Committee (PAC) strongly supports our local elementary school
remaining open to serve the 47 children who now attend here. We do not have a
"rural school", rather we have a "community school". Providing
local elementary education, K-5 and pre-school, affects not only our children,
but the economic and social well-being of our entire greater Red Feather
Red Feather Lakes area citizens paid over $2.5 million in property taxes to Poudre School District in 2008. We do indeed "more than pay our way", up here. Closing our school will not only reduce tax revenues to the county and school district as families move out. Businesses will decline and some will close. Property values will also decline and reduce revenues to Larimer county and remaining schools. Our children who remain will be bussed for up to 2 hours on dark, wintry roads. Studies show that kids who spend hours on busses do not test as well, nor do they have time for positive experiences offered after school hours. They will be on the bus--or permanently gone from our community.
Recent studies indicate a population growth trend here of 30%, not a decline. The 13 pre-school children and many homeschoolers also support the reality of an increase in school age students for the Red Feather district. Now is a terrible time to close our school. The PSD credo states: "educate every child, every day". We agree. And we count all 47 of our students and their value to us every day.
First-look decisions made for cost-savings do not reflect the many destructive consequences to Red Feather Lakes. PAC believes that a more comprehensive understanding will reveal that costs will, in fact, exceed the savings to Larimer County and to Poudre School District budgets-- when All of the relevant factors are considered. This frightening threat to our community compels RFL PAC to insist that Red Feather Elementary remain open.
The Larimer County Commissioners appoint 13 area citizen applicants to serve on the Red Feather PAC. All of us who volunteer as PAC members, our local business owners, parents and their children, urge a complete consideration before deciding. We are a strong and beautiful, year-round community who desire to keep our community whole. PAC officially requests that you keep Red Feather Elementary School Open.
Respectfully, please come
visit us. And then, come to understand the complete picture before you break
Michael Sledge, Secretary