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Southwest Tech budget approved
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The Southwest Wisconsin Technical College District Board unanimously approved the college’s 2012-2013 budget during a meeting Monday evening, June 18.
The 2012-13 budget includes $21,318,000 in general fund revenues, an increase of $792,000 over the estimated final 2011-2012 budget.
“It is mostly from program fees or tuition from the students, based on a budgeted increase in FTEs and a 4.5 percent tuition increase that the state system set,” explained Caleb White, Vice President/Administrative Services.
The 2012-2013 budget is based on 1,700 FTE (full-time equivalent) students, up from 1,620 in the 2011-2012 budget.
The 2012-2013 budget includes general fund expenditures of $21,618,000. White noted 65 percent of expenditures are related to instruction, including salary and benefits for staff.
“The Southwest Tech budget is based on budget priorities,” White said. “This year we aligned our budget priorities with our strategic direction.
“In the past we were a little bit scattered in how we developed our budget priorities. This year our budget priorities were right off of the action steps that the board adopted.”
The total mill rate for the 2012-2013 budget is 2.1277, meaning taxpayers in the district will pay $212.77 for every $100,000 of valuation. The mill rate was also 2.1277 in the 2011-2012 budget.
When all funds are taken into account, the 2012-2013 budget includes $40,008,000 in revenues and $42,999,000 in expenditures.
“Considering the economy and everything else, I think [the budget] looks pretty darn good,” board member Donald Tuescher said.
“September Strategy”
The board approved a “September Strategy” in regards to staffing classes with low enrollments.
“We have a few programs that are pretty low enrollment,” SWTC President Duane Ford said. “There are 12 programs that have enrollment right now expected to be less than 15 students.
“If we have a program that has less than 15 students in it, it is something we want to keep our eye on and try to take corrective action.”
Ford noted the college has stopped enrollment for the fall semester in marketing, IT-Computer Support Specialist and bricklaying.
“What that means is that for those programs for the upcoming year, we will not be accepting students and will not be running any classes,” Ford said.
The “September Strategy” involves reviewing enrollments on or before Sept. 1. Any program at that time with less than 15 students enrolled will result in a layoff notice for that faculty member for the following summer.
“What that does is, it gives the faculty nine months to react and to take corrective action,” Ford said.
In other action, the board:
• approved a resolution authorizing the sale of $2,500,000 in general obligation promissory notes.
Up to $150,000 will be authorized for paying the cost of site improvements; $1,032,000 for the public purpose of paying the cost of building remodeling and improvement projects; and up to $1,318,000 for paying the cost of acquiring moveable equipment.
• awarded a contract for food service operations, including cafeteria and catering services, to UW-Platteville Dining Services, and a contract for vending services to Vendors Unlimited.
“We solicited to any vendor I could find,” White said, noting six proposals were returned.
Vendors Unlimited is presently the college’s soda vendor. Each contract will be for three years.
• awarded a bid for the upgrade of asphalt at the newly completed Public Safety Building to Iverson Construction of Kieler. Iverson Construction was the lone bid at $96,020.
• Approved a lease at $3,000 per year with the Darlington School District. The lease will allow Southwest Tech to rent space at Darlington Schools to be used for office and classroom space.