For the past two years, the Ripon Unified school board has enjoyed using the City of Ripon Council Chambers.
It’s here at this state-of-the-arts building that trustees conduct their monthly meetings. Prior to that, they gathered at Ripon High’s Multi-Purpose Room.
“This is quite nice,” Trustee Mike Fisher said after RUSD re-upped Tuesday for another year of using the Council Chambers as well as the closed session conference room.
The Ripon City Council, in turn, approved the school district’s request to reserve the facility for the 12 meeting dates. But that’s not without discussing the Memorandum of Understanding, a bilateral agreement involving the City and RUSD on shared facilities.
“What’s the cost associated with using the (Council Chambers)?” Mayor Leo Zuber asked.
City Administrator Kevin Werner noted that cost incurred by RUSD for energy usage and custodial services is minimal.
Ted Johnston, director of public works, confirmed that. “It’s less than $10,” he said.
The school district also helps out by bringing in its own Information and Technology person.
It wasn’t that Zuber, who is a retired RUSD superintendent, was objecting to the school district’s use of the place.
“I bring up the point of cost because a fee schedule was created for the use of Council Chambers,” he said. “If there’s a fee process we need to formalize it and make sure everyone is aware of it so there are no exceptions.”
The MOU enables RUSD to use other city facilities at no extra cost. “The Ripon High softball team was grateful to use Mistlin Sports Complex,” said Fisher.
The school district started using the Council Chambers on a trial three-month basis during the summer of 2011.
RUSD officials found the amenities to their liking, from the available technology and comfortable seats for the audience, to the staff saving valuable time in setting up the meetings.