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BCC trustees approve 'clean' audit
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Barton Community College received an unqualified or “clean” audit for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2013, a representative from Adams, Brown, Beran & Ball accounting firm reported Tuesday. But after several years of working with a different auditor, the college did have some changes to make, BCC trustees learned.
The management letter that accompanies the audit report noted two violations of state law: When contracting to build a new dormitory, the college entered the contract without the required non-discrimination clause. And, a public work contract for a job over $100,000 was done without having a proper bond in place.
Dean of Administration Mark Dean later told the Tribune that the second violation hasn’t been an issue in the past, since the college does not pay for a job such as concrete work until the work is satisfactorily completed. Therefore, requiring the contractor to get a bond only increases the cost of the project. But while this was acceptable to the previous auditor, the representatives at ABB&B read the statute more strictly.
Board members were reminded that the primary goals of an audit are to receive an independent opinion that the college’s financial statements are fairly presented, and that they follow generally accepted accounting practices. Audits may lead to administrative changes to make sure the college is handling its finances effectively and complying with numerous regulations.
Board chairman Mike Johnson said the transition to a new firm after several years was bound to require some extra work at first. “We all knew there would be some changes.”
Trustees John Moshier commented, “I think it was good to have a new set of eyes.”
The college is required to provide its annual audit to the federal government, state of Kansas, Kansas Board of Regents, Department of Education, grant applications and all lending institutions with which BCC has financing. Dean said many of ABB&B’s recommendations have already been implemented.

Claflin Revitalization agreement
Once again, the trustees approved an the interlocal agreement between the City of Claflin and BCC. They agreed to a neighborhood revitalization plan, which allows home or business owners in most of Claflin to receive a temporary tax rebate on new construction or remodeling in some cases. Attorney Robert Suelter attended the meeting and explained that this is the same type of agreement that has been offered in Great Bend, Hoisington and Ellinwood, and many other communities, as an incentive to revitalize them. Cities also need the rebates to stay competitive with other communities.
The rebates aren’t the only incentives Claflin has in place to keep the community growing, Suelter said. The first year a new homeowner lives in Claflin, water and sewer service are free. The former Claflin Grade School has been turned into a recreation center and community center.
“The city council is getting people to tear down dilapidated property,” Suelter continued. In some cases the land has been given to the City, which has allowed new duplexes to be built.

Paramedic program
Kathy Kottas and Karyl White talked about changes the Kansas Board of Regents (KBOR) wants so that BCC’s Paramedic degree program is the same as programs at other colleges. BCC’s accredited Paramedic program required 72 credit hours and resulted in an Associate of Applied Science degree. However, under KBOR “alignment,” all Paramedic programs must require no more than 68 credit hours.
White said that even though BCC must reduce credit hours in the core course work, the competencies students must attain remain the same. “We’re not going to reduce our clock hours, because we feel that we can’t,” White said.
The changes will be implemented in the fall 2014 semester.

In other business, the board approved hiring William Rains as coordinator of Correctional Education Services on the Barton County campus. There was also a 20-minute executive session to discuss personnel. Thursday’s meeting combined the monthly study session and monthly business meeting for December. Other reports were also presented.