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BCC Trustees add capital projects to proposed budget
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The Barton Community College Board of Trustees heard a preliminary budget report at Thursday’s study session. Dean of Business Management Mark Dean said he doesn’t anticipate a mill levy increase for next year’s budget, based on early figures on Barton County assessments. The mill levy was 32.807 in 2010-11 and 32.771 in 2011-12.
The actual assessed valuation will depend on the number of exemptions granted. Dean said he used the most conservative figure, so if there are fewer exemptions granted, valuation will increase and the mill levy will drop.
The total tax levied for 2011-12 was just under $8.5 million, and the amount to be levied for the proposed budget of 2012-13 is just under $8.8 million. Last year’s valuation of $257,270, 901 is expected to increase to $268,256,071. The college’s outstanding indebtedness for lease-purchase principal was $10 million on July 1, 2010, $8.7 million in 2011 and $8.3 million in 2012.
The board will vote to publish a proposed budget when it meets on July 19, and will hold a public budget hearing on Aug. 2, after a ribbon cutting for remodeling at the Student Union. The budget hearing will be scheduled for 4:15 p.m. in room F-30 of the Fine Arts Building, and will be included in the board’s August study session.
Next year’s budget is likely to include a number of capital projects that could be paid for from the college’s reserve funds. At the end of Fiscal Year 2012, the cash reserves were at 44 percent of the unrestricted operating budget, an increase of 4 percent over the year before, Dean said.
Barton President Dr. Carl Heilman said, “The time appears to be right to make improvements and upgrades.”
Trustees received this list of possible “one-time” capital projects for FY13, and the estimated cost:
• Replace carpet throughout the Administration Building - $40,000
• Replace carpet in Kirkman Visitor Center - $45,000
• Purchase backup generator for the upper camps (does not include student housing) - $527,000, with a nine-year payback in cost savings
• Replace Kirkman practice floor with wood/rubber surface - $185,000
• Repair Kirkman walls (north and west) to foundation/brick - $120,000
• Enclose the Technical Building alcove to create space for a welding lab - $150,000 (equipment not budgeted)
• Enhanced sound system for Fine Arts Auditorium - $145,000
• Enhanced lighting system for Fine Arts Auditorium - $250,000
• Remodel the athletic office complex in the Kirkman Building - $100,000
Total $1,642,500
Another $1.8 million is already in the Capital Outlay budget for next year. That includes payments on Phase IV student housing, and construction on the library and T-Building and track; parking lot replacements; vehicle replacements; replacing the roof on the Science and Math Building; tennis court renovations and more. It also includes $250,000 for Fine Arts Auditorium renovations (in addition to the revisions listed above), although the total estimate for renovation is actually $283,000. The auditorium renovation includes seating reconfiguration, aisle lighting, sound system replacement, projection and automatic screen, new stage curtains, lighting system replacement, back stage steps to storage, carpet and paint, and architectural fees.
“We have the opportunity to address all of that,” Heilman said. “That would be a direction I would support and recommend.”
Dean said the improvements would reduce the cash reserves to 38 percent. The board requires them to be at least 24 percent, he said.
Budget summary
Taxpayers may notice a jump on the budget summary published later this month, Dean said. It shows actual expenditures and transfers were $28.8 million in 2010-11; $37.9 million in 2011-12; and $65.5 million for the proposed 2012-13 budget. The proposed number is always significantly higher, because it is the total amount the college could be authorized to spend – and is more than administrators expect to spend. However, the $9 million increase between 2010-11 and 2011-12 is another matter.
The change is based on Senate Bill 143, which changed how expenditures are reported, Dean said. Last year, $8.7 million was transferred to the vocational fund. “It shows up as revenue and expense,” he said. “We’re going to have to report it every year and move it over every year.”
The college is basing its budget on an estimated 3 percent growth in enrollment. Dean said the college is working toward adjusting some associate faculty salaries which are lower than the state median.
Heilman added that growth at BCC will require 10 more employees in the future, for areas that include Eldercare, Fort Riley, the criminal justice department and the health-care fields.