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Co-Lin keeps wary eye on state budget

WESSON — State community colleges were spared the budget ax byGov. Ronnie Musgrove earlier this week, but school officials areexpecting a another revenue reduction in the spring, Copiah-LincolnCommunity College trustees were told Thursday.

President Dr. Howell Garner said college presidents met withMusgrove Tuesday before the governor announced $50 million in stateagency budget cuts because of lagging revenue collections. Thepresident said it was “extremely good news” that K-12, communitycolleges and universities were excluded.

“We were all very appreciative he did not include us in thiscut,” Garner said.

For Co-Lin, another cut would have meant an additional $369,000on top of $468,910 that has already been trimmed from the schoolbudget in the current fiscal year, Garner said.

While schools got a reprieve from an immediate cut, Garner saidleaders were pretty much assured to expect a revenue reduction inthe spring. Under state law, Garner said the schools would beconsidered first then, but that would also mean a larger pool offunds from which to accommodate a budget cut.

With cuts being foreseen earlier this year, trustees at budgettime approved a plan to deal with a revenue shortfall. Garner saidcurrent cuts are within the bounds of the plan, but schoolofficials are still being cautious with money.

“We feel like it’s prudent to be careful with our spending rightnow,” Garner said.

In other action Thursday during a routine board meeting,trustees were told the school is close to an agreement with Entexfor maintenance of natural gas lines on the campus and withCellular South on a new cellular telephone service that is expectedto greatly improve reception in the Wesson area.

Also, school officials were expected to pursue legal action overdisputed ownership of a piece of property near the college.Trustees also accepted a $5,957 insurance settlement afterlightning struck the golf course, damaging sprinklers and otherequipment.