County Will Still Foot Bill For College, At Least Until July

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The Gila Board of Supervisors voted Feb. 7 to continue paying to maintain the Gila Community College buildings and surrounding property through the end of this fiscal year.

At the start of this fiscal year last July, the county had set aside $300,000 to pay for utilities and maintenance costs on the buildings that sit on the GCC property formerly owned by the county.

After the county deeded over 30 acres to GCC in November, the question emerged: Would supervisors continue to pay for upkeep of the buildings now owned by GCC?

Tuesday’s meeting answered that question — at least for the balance of the current fiscal year ending in June.

“We’re appreciative of their support up to this point on maintenance of the buildings,” said Larry Stephenson, president of the GCC board. However, now the GCC board must consider what will happen next year. The significant cost to maintain the buildings would put a major dent in the already strained GCC budget. “This is new ground for us,” said Stephenson, “We’re going to discuss this at a later date and continue to ask for support.”

The county also has a wait-and-see attitude about future help for the college.

“(Our support) will depend on a request from the GCC board and what the board of supervisors will decide to do,” said John Nelson, deputy manager for Gila County.

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