By Kristin Rover
Batavia Local School District board members approved changes to the athletic fund during their Nov. 18 meeting.
Board members approved a proposal to allow money from athletic fees to go into the athletic fund instead of the general fund.
Treasurer Michael Ashmore said approximately $30,000 of the athletic fees will go into the athletic fund and approximately $30,000 of the athletic fees will go into a separate capital improvement fund within the athletic fund to be used for facility improvements.
“I thought Ben did a good job with his proposal,” Michael Enriquez, board member, said about athletic director Ben Stewart.
Stewart had submitted a proposal to board members about how to improve the athletic fund.
After meeting with Stewart and the finance committee, Enriquez proposed the idea of changing the athletic fund during the Oct. 21 board meeting.
“It is struggling right now,” Enriquez said during the October meeting.
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.
He said the athletic fund is dwindling and he knows that several of the facilities will need improvements in the coming years.
Enriquez said Stewart has utilized fundraising as well as the athletic boosters to support sports at the district, but he said Stewart is living on a shoestring budget that cannot cover all of the costs including transportation.
Ashmore said when the district was forced to make reductions, board members decided to have the athletic fees, approximately $60,000 per year, go into the general fund rather than the athletic fund.
Ashmore said they could not afford to begin the changes this year, but now that they have the approval of the board they will begin putting the fees in the athletic fund next year.
“I think this is good,” Enriquez said about changing the funding. “This is a start.”
Enriquez said in the next month or so Stewart will also present a proposal to lower transportation costs for the athletic department.
He said Stewart has been looking to see how other schools handle transportation to keep costs under control.
“He is looking at an alternative,” Enriquez said. “If there is a way to cut costs for transportation that would help.”