AAC will have to revise fee proposal

POULSBO — It was all gassed up, but the Athletics and Activities Committee will have nowhere to go but back to the drawing board as it revisits plans to reduce athletics participation fees.

The AAC revealed its plan May 10 to eliminate activity bus runs for high school and middle school students in an effort to reduce participation fees from $60 to $35 and $35 to $20 respectively.

The North Kitsap School District Board postponed action on the proposed recommendations until its May 24 meeting but then agreed the AAC needs to provide more information before the plan — which is expected to save $70,000 — is approved. Participation fees were implemented in 2005-06 to generate revenue for activity buses and other transportation costs related to interscholastic athletics.

“We weren’t ready to take action,” said school board member Catherine Ahl. “We want to get more information regarding the funds and the numbers. We need to find out, what do these (participation) fees fund.”

“It was my understanding that the athletic participation fees aren’t paying for activity bus runs,” she said. “They’re separate. The athletic fees are in place to cover the transportation costs for students to and from athletic events.”

As for the activity buses, school board president Melanie Mohler said she is in no hurry to axe the runs.

“I don’t want to eliminate all of the activity buses,” she said.

Board member Dan Delaney agreed with Mohler's assessment.

He said he thinks activity buses serve a unique purpose in the North End community.

“There’s a lot of people in the community who think activity buses are essential. Especially in Kingston,” he said. “Having the activity buses is a wonderful luxury. We’re the only school district in the area that has them.”

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