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Manteca board mulls charging Kids Zone for school facilities
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To charge or not to charge Manteca Kids Zone fees: that is the question that the Manteca Unified School District Board of Trustees will decide on Tuesday.

Board members could also opt for a quick decision and forgo any lengthy discussion by simply embracing the expected recommendation from Superintendent Jason Messer, which is to maintain the current status quo of quid pro quo. That is, both city and school district will share and share alike in the use of each others’ facilities.

Discussion of this topic and other agenda items will take place at the Tuesday, Jan. 18, meeting of the board of trustees in the district office board room at 2271 West Louise Ave. The meeting will begin at 7 p.m.

At the “two by two” meeting a week ago by representatives of the school district and the city, Messer indicated that he would recommend that the board approve the continuation of the fiscal status existing between the two agencies with the additional suggestion that there be an annual meeting between taking place to review how things went the previous year.

A rundown of city and school district costs involving the use of each other’s facilities during 2010 and as reported at last week’s joint meeting indicated nearly even figures for the two agencies: $56,950 district’s use of city facilities such as baseball fields and the golf course, and $56,727 for the city’s use of district school facilities such as swimming pools. Unless there is a 10 percent discrepancy in the costs either way, Messer indicated at the “two by two” meeting that line-by-line comparisons would be fiscally counterproductive.

The exception to the trade-out arrangement is the summer use of school classrooms by Kids Zone. Since electricity use is nil during that time when students and staff are on vacation, the city pays for that utility bill and other costs, which came up to $21,000 last year.

All this discussion came about when Manteca businessman Ed Fonseca who owns the Hansel and Gretel day care facility across the street from City Hall on West Center Street accused the city of running a day care program, Kids Zone, without the necessary state license. He argued that the city is engaging in unfair business practices by operating Kids Zone free of charge on school properties that are being subsidized by taxpayers. He said that the city’s Kids Zone program should be treated like organizations using school facilities and be required to pay the ongoing rates with the exception of school-based and a few other organizations.

In other agenda items, the board of trustees will:

•accept the 2009-10 San Joaquin County Grand Jury Report;

•discuss and consider revising board policy and administratiave regulation 4021 and complaints - first readings;

•consider the 2009-10 audit report;

•consider approval of short-term classified employees for specified positions and times,

•consider adopting resolutin and accepting the finalcompletion of the contract for the French Camp School joint-use gymnasium located at 241 East Fourth Stl, French Camp, and,

•consider adoption of student calendar for school year 2010-11.