IHCC sets budget hearing for March 13
Wednesday, February 15, 2017
By WINONA WHITAKER
Courier staff writer
OTTUMWA — The Indian Hills Community College Board of Trustees agreed to hold a public hearing concerning its proposed 2018 fiscal budget at its next meeting, Monday, March 13 at 4 p.m. Revenue for the year is estimated at $62.4 million, and expenditures at $61.7 million.
One reason for increased spending in the 2018 budget was the switch fully-funded health care to self-funded health care for employees, Chief Finance Officer Bill Meck told the board, "It does increase our total expenditures," he said.
Meck said that his estimate of revenue from the state for 2018 was conservative because of the recent cut in state funding to community colleges! . "We all know that there was a much larger cut that was proposed," he said.
The $8.7 million reduction to community colleges proposed by Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad for fiscal year 2017 would have reduced the IHCC budget by $634,000. The Iowa legislator instead cut funding to the state’s 15 community colleges by $3 million, leaving IHCC $217,000 short for the year.
Brandstad’s proposal had also addressed fiscal years 2018 and 2019, but the bill passed by the legislature did not address the subsequent years. Meck, consequently, left state aid numbers the same for 2018 as they were for 2017.
Meck said the reduction of $218,700 from the state for 2017 will be reflected in revenues for February through June this year, but finances are already tight. "We’re just having a more difficult year than we’ve had! the previous two," Meck said, but he also told the board, "Ju! st because we’re behind last year and the year before doesn’t mean we’re not going to balance."
Meck said the college had made department heads aware that they needed to cut what they can from their budgets for the remainder of this fiscal year, and the financial report for January did show a reduction in some areas such as materials and supplies.
Trustee Rich Gaumer was encouraged by the legislature’s move to reduce Branstad’s budget adjustment to community colleges. "There is significant support [for community colleges], especially in the House of Representatives," he said.
In other business the board:
- Passed a resolution for the continuation of the plant fund levy.
- Approved the 20212022 school calendar.
- Heard a report on the new dental assistant and dental hygiene programs from Executive Dean Jill Budde, Dental Assisting Program Director Carol Sexton-White, and Dental Hygiene Program Director Jody Williams.
Reporter Winona Whitaker can be contacted at wwhitaker@ottumwacourier. com and followed on Twitter @courierwinona.
Category: Higher Education