By Kristin Rover
Batavia Local School District board members discussed making changes to the district’s athletic fund during their Oct. 21 meeting.
Board of education member Michael Enriquez said the finance committee discussed the athletic fund extensively during their last meeting.
“It is struggling right now,” Enriquez said about the fund.
Enriquez said they knew the athletics department would face challenges after the board previously decided to have the athletics fees go into the general fund instead of the athletic fund.
Enriquez said the district brings in approximately $60,000 in athletics fees each year.
Enriquez proposed to board members that instead of putting that money in the general fund, they begin putting half of the fees into a separate fund that will be used specifically for improvements to the athletic facilities and the other half of the fees into the athletic fund.
“We could pull together a committee to help create further plans and guidelines,” Enriquez said.
Enriquez said he knows that several of the facilities will need improvements in the coming years.
“The remaining fees would go back into the athletic fund,” Enriquez said. “Which is where they should go.”
Enriquez said Athletic Director Ben Stewart has been doing a great job figuring out how to make the money that they have in the fund stretch as far as possible.
Enriquez said Stewart has utilized fundraising as well as the athletic boosters to support sports at the district.
He said the athletics fund is still having difficult covering all of the expenses, including transportation.
“We have exorbitant transportation costs,” Enriquez said. “They used to come out of the athletic fund.”
Enriquez said last year they had to use money from the general fund to cover the costs.
Stewart said he has been looking into how other districts have been handling transportation for athletes and will begin working on a plan.
“Right now Ben is living on shoestrings,” Enriquez said. “I think we need to right the ship back.”
Enriquez asked board members to think about his proposal and address it at next month’s meeting.