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PrattTribune - Pratt, KS
  • Higher mil levy supports more staff at PCC

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  • The mil levy at Pratt Community College is going to go up.
    At the PCC Board of Trustees meeting Monday night, the Trustees approved the proposed 2013-2014 budget that included a 1.74 increase in the mil levy, said PCC President Emeritus William Wojciechowski.
    The total budget for the college is $19.5 million. That money comes from federal and state funds, some transfers from last year and the taxes levied in the county.
    The county portion of the budget is $5.6 million. The total tax levy is 41.5 mils, up from 39.7 mils in 2012-2013.
    The increase in the mil levy was prompted for several reasons.
    First, the college has more people on staff than it did last year. For the past two years, PCC has had to cut staff because of a lack of funding. This put the college in a very short-staffed position and it was impacting the college product.
    "We were in a position we needed to bring back some of that staff. It was effecting the quality of service we provide," Wojciechowski said.
    The college was also having difficulty retaining staff because of low compensation. A 2.5 percent increase in compensation has been instituted to help keep the college competitive with other colleges and the business world.
    Also increasing at the college is the cost of medical insurance that has gone up seven percent because property liability is higher than it was in the past.
    One area that did not go up was funding from the state. It is at the same level as last year and the college feels lucky to get that.
    "We were fortunate we did not see a decrease like other state agencies," Wojciechowski said.
    Part of the budget comes from transfers. When the budget is made, it is based on what the college believes will be required to run for a year.
    Sometimes expenses are more and sometimes expenses are less then the budget estimate. When that happens, the college has transfer money it can draw on to make the budget balance.
    If more money is needed, the transfer is added. If expenses turn out to be less, the remaining funds are placed in the transfer account so the budget still balances.
    If that money was not available, the college would have to reconstruct the budget and resubmit it and that takes time and money.
    The assessed valuation also went up for the college from $128.8 million to $135.6 million mostly due to the oil and gas industry.
    Enrollment for the fall semester is looking up and is very positive. Enrollment is up six percent above last year at the same time. Residence hall occupancy is at 93 percent with at least 40 students that are coming but haven't signed contracts.
    Page 2 of 2 - "We are very optimistic we will exceed our expectations for fall enrollment," Wojciechowski said. "We budgeted for a two percent decrease in enrollment but right now we may have a slight increase."

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