AP NEWS

Increase in aid to cover hike in health insurance for school district

March 22, 2019

BULLHEAD CITY — The cost of health insurance for Bullhead City Elementary School District employees is going up next fiscal year, but Supt. Benje Hookstra said a boost in state aid should absorb the hike,

The district’s standard plan is going up from about $719 a month to about $782, Hookstra told governing board members Thursday evening.

He said that would cost the BCESD about $167,000. A possible 5 percent hike in state aid, Hookstra said, would bring in about $354,000 in new money, leaving about $187,000 to apply to staff raises.

The district pays the premiums for employees for the standard plan. Rates are also going up for more expensive plans. As before, employees opting for those plans will pay the difference.

The Colorado River Union High School District board heard the same news on Wednesday; CRUHSD employees are on the same medical insurance plan.

The board took no action regarding a proposal by the River Cities Community Theater Players to buy a district-owned metal building near the former Mountain View Elementary School campus.

The Players’ Toni Flora and Andy Hogan told board members about the group’s struggles since having to leave Colorado Place in July and its need for a permanent home.

“It would greatly improve our ability to put on productions,” Flora said.

The group has been handling set construction and rehearsals in a space on Marina Boulevard and performing at various places around the community, including Fox Creek Junior High School, a BCESD facility.

Board member Doug Lutz said the BCESD will need to have the property appraised and make sure it’s complying with state law before weighing the Players’ $50,000 offer.

The board also scheduled a special meeting for 5 p.m. March 28, at which it will discuss district staffing, including its superintendent search. Board President Melinda Sobraske said other positions that may be discussed include curriculum director and business manager.

BCESD and CRUHSD have been operating under a shared administration arrangement but BCESD board members voted in January to discontinue that agreement. Hookstra, currently superintendent of both districts under that shared-services agreement, is retiring at the end of the school year.