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Special Service district turns over Senior Center to county

By Richard Shaw

The Carbon County Senior Center, which opened a little over five years ago, is now the property of Carbon County, instead of the Carbon County Recreation and Transportation Special Service District. That decision was made by the CCRTSSD board on Tuesday morning at a special meeting held for the purpose of dealing with the center and final finances for the year.
The building and assets, are presently valued at $8,773,457.19. Previous to this the county operated the center by leasing it from the district. Starting in 2016 there will be no more rental payments because of the transfer.
There was some discussion between the board and Doug Rasmussen of Smuin, Rich and Marsing Accounting on how to handle the transfer, and how to consider the depreciation and appreciation of the building. Rasmussen said that will be resolved in the audit report next year. It will be considered a non-cash expenditure.
This relieves the CCRTSSD of responsibility for the building and its maintenance costs. However there was some discussion that the board could help the county out if needed on some kinds of expeditures for maintenance on the facility.
A public hearing was held in conjunction with the move, but there was no one present to comment.
The board also took up the issues of end-of-year finance and examined the money that has been coming into the CCRTSSD. Within the last few months the board had been concerned about the downturn in money coming from the state for the Federal Lease Money that it gets and then divides to the district for gas, oil and coal extraction. That downturn has come from a number of factors including decreased coal production and lower natural gas prices.
Linda Ballard, the executive director of the CCRTSSD, reported that in the last week her office had received a check for October’s payment along with money for sequestration that was expected earlier. The total check was for $625,748.54 of which about $250,000 was for the October mineral lease funds. This puts the total money that has come in for 2015 at $4,099,410.21. That compares with last years (2014) total of $5,274,938.09. The total for the 2015 severance taxes to the federal government was $11,575,957.94 of which Carbon County gets 40 percent. The total dollars coming through for this year is not complete yet with November and December still not calculated. However officials still is expect it to be below the 2014 figures.

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