DACC trustees OK $1 million loan for campus upgrades

DACC trustees OK $1 million loan for campus upgrades

DANVILLE – Danville Area Community College trustees on Tuesday took another step toward issuing $1 million in bonds to make much-needed improvements to technology across campus.

Trustees authorized the college to enter into a $1 million debt certificate, or installment loan, with First Financial Bank in Ridge Farm, which is offering an annual interest rate of 2.6 percent. By law, the college must show debt before it can proceed with a bond sale.

President Alice Jacobs said issuing the bonds will not raise property taxes. And if things go as planned, the money could be available early next year.

The college was able to update technology on a consistent basis until several years ago, when the state eliminated technology grants to community colleges, which ran between $200,000 and $300,000 a year. Since then, they've fallen behind.

"We just can't continue to do that year after year," Jacobs said.

"Every new curriculum we develop today involves new technology," said Dave Kietzmann, vice president of instruction and student services.

Trustees also gave tentative approval to a balanced budget for the 2009 fiscal year.

Now the proposed $27.63 million spending plan will be on display at the college, 2000 E. Main St., for the next 30 days or so.

Trustees will hold a public hearing on the proposal and then vote on whether to adopt it at their Sept. 23 meeting.

The proposed budget is a .2 percent increase from the 2008 budget of about $27.57 million.

The proposed operating budget – unrestricted funds that pay for most salaries and benefits, contractual services, utilities and other daily expenses – would spend about $13.78 million – up from the 2008 operating budget of about $13.34 million.

The college would bring in about $4.26 million from the state and about $4.22 million from tuition and fees. It also would raise about $5.9 million in property taxes, up from about $5.6 million this year.

The budget would increase personnel and utility costs and allow the college to finish its $1.7 million Management Information Systems conversion. It also includes resources for new culinary arts and sonography programs and to enhance the auto body/mechanics program.

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