Pratt Community College Board of Trustees approved the budget that included a 0.11 decrease in the mill levy and some extra funds for unexpected expenses.

The budget for the 2018-2019 school year at Pratt Community College includes an estimated 39.3 mill levy that is 0.11 lower than last year. The budget was approved at the Board of Trustees meeting on Aug. 13.

The 2018-2019 budget is $20.9 million. The budget is actually more than the college anticipates it will need for the school year but Kent Adams, PCC vice president of finance and operations, said he always builds extra funds into the budget for unforeseen circumstances. He also adds extra expenses so if some unexpected big expense should happen, the money is already there and won’t cause a financial problem for the college.

Having extra room in the budget also means the college doesn’t have to republish a budget if an unexpected expense happens and they would have to move money from one area to cover the cost of that unexpected expense, Adams said.

The 2017-2018 actual budget was $14.8 million and Adams expects the final budget for this year will be somewhere close to that amount. The proposed budget for 2017-2018 was also several million higher than the final actual amount.

While the decrease in the mill levy isn’t much, Adams said he is always happy when he can keep the mill levy in check.

The college also received a reinstatement of $60,000 from the state. This is about half of the amount the state took back in a funding cut in 2016. So this is not a funding increase but a return of money that the state had already given the college and then taken back.

Some PCC vice presidents attended an ALICE training session that is for active shooter response. The training instructs victims of an active shooter to run, hide, fight. For many years, the suggested response to an active shooter was to lock- down and stay in place, said PCC president Michael Calvert.

But now the focus is run away if possible, then hide and if all else fails, fight back. Five of the PCC staff have taken ALICE training.

Valuable lessons were learned at PCC in an active shooter exercise at the college in January and that is why the ALICE training was made available.

“Our board is very concerned about safety on our campus,” Calvert said.

Also as a change in campus safety, a daytime security person is now available.

Students in K-12 have grown up with school shootings in the news so PCC is taking steps to make the campus as safe as possible. While the USDs keep their entrance doors locked, the college has many entrances to the main building that are kept unlocked for easy access for students and visitors to the college.

“It’s (safety) a bigger challenge here,” Calvert said.

Weather safety is also an important part of security at PCC. A regional table-top exercise for a large-scale tornado event is planned in Oklahoma City and several PCC instructors plan on attending to help PCC be prepared in the event of a tornado at the college or in Pratt.

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