Co-Lin sets new budget

Published 5:00 am Friday, May 3, 2002

WESSON — The Copiah-Lincoln Community College Board of TrusteesThursday approved a $15.98 million general fund budget thatanticipates more money from student fees as the school receivesless from the state.

According to totals for fiscal year 2003 budget, $4.45 millionis expected to come from students fees, which represents anincrease of $673,875 over current year revenue. From state incomesources, the $7.02 million projected to come from the state is$780,227 less than the current year.

In complimenting finance and other administration officials,Co-Lin President Dr. Howell Garner said they had worked hard to geta balanced budget.

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“I feel very good at this point that it is balanced,” Garnersaid.

Last month, the board approved a $100 per semester full-timestudent tuition fee increase and a $10 per semester hour increasefor part-time students. Other budget-related recommendationsincorporated into Thursday’s approval included continuing to leavea number of teaching positions unfilled and continuing aconservative approach in all areas of spending.

Dr. Steve Wells, chairman of the budget and finance committee,said there may have to be some fine-tuning of the budget, which isnormal during a school year.

Wells and Garner said student fee revenue expectations werebased on flat enrollment. Garner added that any enrollmentincreases would help the school in fiscal year 2004 in the form ofbetter funding from the state.

“We feel we’re going to see some progress, and we’re doing tosome things to make sure that happens,” Garner said.

Overall, the school’s $15.98 million 2003 budget is $149,407less than the $16.13 million in 2002.

Michael Tanner, financial director, said the school experiencedrevenue shortfalls in state funding and higher insurance premiumsin the wake of Sept. 11. He said it was good the budget was able toabsorb those impacts and still only be down only $149,000.

“We played it as close to the vest as we can because of theshortfalls,” added Dr. Paul Johnson, dean of the college.

Garner said about $75,000-$80,000 in planned purchases will notbe made until funding is certain. He also mentioned approximately$350,000 in a reserve funds that could be applied to areas whereneeded.

“We do have some conservative latitude in meeting our budgetaryconstraints,” Garner said.

In the budget, 74.9 percent is targeted for personnel-relatedexpenses. Garner said the percentage had around 76 percent, butsome personnel movements and other actions lowered that figure.

Wells indicated future is uncertain and the school is on a “thinline” with the budget.

“There are a number of variables that may cause theadministration to have to make some tough decisions,” Wellssaid.

In other budget matters, trustees approved the administrationrequesting a 10 percent increase in funding from supportingcounties’ boards of supervisors. Garner said the routine requestsare made during county budget hearings in July or August, and hewould report results to the board during a later meeting.

Also Thursday, trustees approved a number of personnel moves andcontracts with personnel for the next school year.

In project reports, Garner told trustees that construction onthe school’s new $1.327 million men’s dorms, which will house 64students, is back on schedule after falling behind earlier. Thedorms’ scheduled completion is Oct. 30.