/usr/web/www.timesrepublican.com/wp-content/themes/coreV2/single.php

Iowa Valley Community College District budget approved

District OKs several jobs training agreements

T-R FILE PHOTO An aerial view of the Marshalltown Community College campus.

Iowa Valley Community College District is lowering its property tax rate with the upcoming fiscal year 2018 budget, the estimate for which was approved during Wednesday’s district board of directors meeting.

“(The estimated total tax rate) is lowered by .37663 cents per $1,000 valuation, so not quite 38 cents,” said District Vice Chancellor/CFO Kathy Pink. The new rate per $1,000 valuation will be 1.36842 for FY18 under the current budget estimate.

The FY18 budget estimate was presented to the board at the Feb. 8 regular meeting and was approved after a public hearing at Wednesday’s meeting.

Pink said the total of all funds in the FY18 budget has not yet been decided, and that process is expected to be completed in early summer. The general fund, including the unrestricted and restricted general funds, is currently estimated to be $36,672,084 next fiscal year.

The unrestricted portion of the general fund took a hit this fiscal year, FY17, due to de-appropriations directed at community colleges from the state legislature.

“We had two de-appropriations,” Pink said of statewide cuts to community colleges, adding the first cut was a total of $3 million and the second was a cut of $1.75 million for a total of $4.75 million. “Our (district’s) reduction with both of those combined was $210,927 in this fiscal year.”

IVCCD Chancellor Chris Duree said the immediate impact of that cut in FY17 can be handled.

“We can weather through that for this fiscal year because of the massive amount of budget work we did last year,” he said. “That’s not to say that we’re pleased with the announcement, but our house is in order to the extent that we can weather through this year.”

The initial $3 million cut was discussed more extensively at the state level before taking place, but the second cut was “a surprise,” Pink said.

“That’s a lot of money for us, we had to be flexible enough to adjust for that,” she said of the nearly $211,000 cut.

Duree said the future impact of total statewide community college de-appropriation of $4.75 million is “complicated.

“Any increase that we receive, if we receive anything, will be calculated on the base after the de-appropriated amount (of $4.75 million),” the chancellor said, adding any appropriation increase given by the legislature would be added based on FY17’s budget after the $4.75 million was cut. “Even if we got the $4.75 million back, we could very well end up, at best, even.”

Pink said the state legislature has yet to begin discussions about community college appropriations for FY18, which makes the job of budgeting more of a challenge.

“That’s one of those situations where we have to look at our operating budget and say ‘What potentially could be cut? Do we have to look at tuition revenue?'” she said of budget planning. “It’s very important for us to consider a cut like that.”

Duree said next Tuesday’s Iowa Revenue Estimating Conference (REC) in Des Moines could have a significant impact on how much state money is appropriated to community colleges.

“That will be the amount that will determine if there’s any more that still needs to be cut and how they’re going to make up for it,” he said of the legislature. “It’ll also have some bearing on what they have to work with in their budgets for the next fiscal year.”

The REC is set to take place 11 a.m. March 14 in room 103 of the State Capitol Building.

In other business

Along with the public hearing on the FY18 budget, the board approved several jobs training partnerships at Wednesday’s meeting.

JBS Swift and Co., Engineered Plastic Components Inc. of Grinnell and Montezuma Manufacturing of Montezuma were approved for job training agreements with IVCCD under 260F of the Iowa Code.

The training programs cover areas such as meat processing, metal stamping robotic assemblies for the automotive industry and plastic industry work.

Also approved was a 28E agreement with Solid Waste Management Commission of Marshall County to provide reduce, reuse, recycle education.

The trustees went into a closed session to discuss collective bargaining strategy as well.

The next IVCCD Board of Directors meeting is set for 4 p.m. April 12 at Ellsworth Community College in Iowa Falls.

——–

Contact Adam Sodders at (641) 753-6611 or asodders@timesrepublican.com

COMMENTS