Mapleton to host community programs

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Mapleton Public Schools will soon host several community programs at several of its schools through a newly approved joint-use agreement between Thornton and the district.

The agreement, which was unanimously approved by City Council during its Dec. 18 public meeting, spells out an exchange of $49,495 in city landscape maintenance services for an estimated $42,359 in building and field uses through the school district.

In all, the city would provide maintenance services to five of the school district’s facilities, including Meadow Elementary, Clayton-Bertha Heid Elementary Park, Sam Molinaro Park, York International School and portions of its Skyview Campus.

The agreement would also allow for the conditional forgiveness of $229,539 in water and sewer tap fees that were due to the city earlier this year. Council unanimously approved an agreement during its Aug. 28 public meeting to the delay the payment of these tap fees till a formal joint use agreement could be finalized.

Mike Soderberg, the city’s community services executive director, said these tap fees would become payable if Mapleton terminates the agreement in the future.

The agreement will allow the city to have second priority for fields and facilities after the school district but prevent individual school principals from modifying previously scheduled city events. In cases where Mapleton staff may be required to work overtime, the city or the affiliated organization will be required to pay those costs.

Soderberg said the largest cost-saving measure will be the relocation of the city’s boxing program from its current location at 9191 Washington St. to Mapleton High School. He said this move alone is estimated to save the city about $30,000 each year.

City Manager Jack Ethredge said the agreement would allow the city to ensure some Mapleton-owned facilities located within the city are maintained and available to neighboring residents.

“There is — particularly with Mapleton and maybe with other districts now and in the future — a concern that a lot of their facilities are built and integrated within the neighborhoods,” Ethredge said during a Dec. 11 planning session. “We see this as an opportunity to stabilize that public property that is within neighborhoods owned by the school district as well.”

Mayor Pro Tem Eva Henry, who represents the city ward located within Mapleton’s boundaries, said the agreement would allow the city to enhance the quality of life for neighboring school district residents through the introduction of adult programs that the city is not able to offer at its current facilities.

“It’s not just all about dollars — it’s also about the quality of life that we’re offering to our citizens and partnering with our schools, which in the long run, is actually a significant benefit for the children in our community,” Henry said. “Sometimes you just can’t put a dollar amount on some city services, and I think this is one of those times.”