Park City School’s budget has traditionally been run in a tight manner. Over past 10 years, most extra expenditures have come from small grants or other funding mechanisms outside of the general fund. A few years ago, a small increase to the general fund was asked for from the local taxpayers, and it was granted. However, the district still runs its budget at less than 90% of the maximum allowed for by the state-mainly because that increase to 100% would come completely from the taxpayers.

For the past 10 years the district has worked to find ways to gain a piece of the Nye-Hard Rock Mining Impact Plan money. Most of the other school districts in the county benefit from it. Park City Schools was not a part of the original impact agreement. Why? It is hard to say as no one seems to know for certain, but everyone seems to have a story about it. One key reason to note is that the original plan was created prior to any busing existing and there being only one mine employee in the community at the time of the original plan. However, after looking at the impact agreement, it was determined that there were certain “trigger” events that would allow the original agreement to be opened and amended.

Park City Schools recently looked at those triggers and went through a long process with some local help of finding verification of the numbers that would indicate meeting these triggers. Once it was determined that numerous triggers had been met, the district was able to work towards writing an amendment to request that Park City Schools be included in both the taxable valuation and the impact money of the Nye Hard Rock Mining Impact Plan.

In March of 2023 the Stillwater County Commissioners held their weekly meeting in Park City, specifically at the Park City Schools. At that time, the school submitted the amendment proposal to the Commissioners. The Commissioners then held a meeting in May in which they invited Park City Schools, Absarokee Schools, Columbus Schools, the Sibanye mine representatives, the Commissioners and others to review the  proposal and to discuss the process to follow for the amendment request.  It was stated that the process would be long and it was asked of the mine to provide an intermediary to sit with the groups to then make a determination.

After the meeting, Park City Schools continued to ask the commissioners about that next meeting with the mine representative and the commissioners. That meeting never happened. In November of 2023 Park City Schools received a letter from an attorneys office representing the County and the Mine stating that they would not grant the amendment as it lacks merit. (LETTER)

What are the benefits the District would realize from being included in the Impact Plan? We would be able to continue to operate our general fund budget without having to ask taxpayers for a levy every year. If we were to run another building bond, the taxed amount on the public would be decreased. And the district would be able to maintain its facilities without having to cut corners.

Without the amendment, we are facing too many financial hurdles. We will have to continue to ask the taxpayers for more money and it will continue to be almost impossible to build needed classrooms and other facilities.  Park City Schools will continue to seek to have the amendment granted.