SCCC Board Publishes 2017 Budget

KSCB News - July 19, 2016 3:19 pm

Mill levy to remain level, pending tax valuations appeal

The Seward County Community College board of trustees approved a first publication of the 2016-17 budget that leaves the local mill levy at 37 mills. Trustees chose to work with the current assessed valuation numbers for Seward County tax revenue of $9.3 million, though there is some concern that pending tax appeals might change the financial landscape.

The proposed budget totals $15.9 million for expenditures and transfers.

Vice President of Finance and Operations Dennis Sander told the board the budget includes a projected increase of $250,000 to the college for health care, which will be supplemented by increased employee contributions to insurance premiums. The 2017 budget also incorporates $200,000 in expenditures for retirements, raises and employee compensation, and $70,000 in rising costs for energy and institutional insurance.  Nonetheless, he said, the College continues to strike a balance between economizing and ensuring long-term growth.

“Financially, Fiscal Year 2016 was a positive one for SCCC,” he said. “Faculty, staff, and administration continued to be frugal and efficient. The college is in a position to at least leverage some of its reserves against the continued specter of state appropriation and local tax revenue drops in FY17.”

“There is concern about the outcome of the current tax appeal, and its ultimate effect on mill levy revenues,” Sander said. “We will not know the outcome of the appeal for some time.”

With a motion by trustee Dustin Ormiston and a second by vice-chair Marvin Chance Jr., the board voted 5/0 (with Sharon Hobble absent and President Ken Trzaska participating via phone) to approve the release of the budget. Detailed documents are on view at the SCCC library for the public to access. Final approval of the budget is slated for the Aug. 1 meeting.

In other business, the board handled a light agenda:

·      Trustees approved the personnel report, which included hiring of four new employees: Tanya Dowell as Director of Human Resources; Manuel Bustillos as HVAC instructor; and Tyler Mangels and Jerad Noble as welding instructors.

·      Vice President of Student Services Celeste Donovan and Director of Admissions Bert Luallen presented a report on enrollment for the fall semester. Current figures show a decrease of 16 percent, but nearly 400 registrations are waiting to be processed due to technology upgrades. Dorm housing is nearly full for the upcoming year, with 232 of 250 spots reserved.

·      Trustees voted to appoint officers and committee appointments for the coming year: chair Ron Oliver, vice-chair Marvin Chance Jr., clerk Dr. Ken Trzaska, treasurer Tina Call and assistant treasurer Mike Brond; KACCT delegates Chance, and alternates John Engel and Rick Brenneman, Seward County Council of Governments representatives Oliver and Ormiston; and appointment of Sander as the compliance officer for Title VI, Title IX and Section 504 compliance.

·      The board authorized employment of attorneys from Sharp McQueen as the College’s legal counsel. Base retainer is $1,825 and hourly fees range from $200 to $225 per hour for attorneys in the practice.

·      The board designated the High Plains Daily Leader & Times as the College’s legal publication meeting the statutory requirements of the state of Kansas.

·      The board voted to accept an audit proposal from Byron Bird and Associates of Liberal, not to exceed $30,800, to perform the fiscal 2016 independent audit.

The administrative team presented short reports outlining the College’s summer activities, preparations for the upcoming academic year, and partnership with area high schools.

In his remarks to the board, Trzaska expressed solidarity and concern for those harmed by the many tragic and violent events that have occurred this summer.
“As a college, we must stand with those who are affected, even as we prepare to kick off a great year on campus,” he said.

The board of trustees will meet at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 1 in the Hobble Academic Building board room for the regular monthly session.


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