DACC trustees to review budget, consider boosting staff in some programs

DACC trustees to review budget, consider boosting staff in some programs

DANVILLE — Danville Area Community College would be able to boost staff in three programs with continual high enrollments, renovate DACC's new extension site in Hoopeston and complete the Mary Miller Center expansion and renovation under a proposed budget for the 2013 fiscal year.

DACC trustees will review the proposal at 7 p.m. Tuesday (Aug. 21) and vote on whether to put it on display. The meeting is in Room 302 of Vermilion Hall on the campus at 2000 E. Main St. A copy of the agenda and board packet is available online at http://bit.ly/OGlGhB. Trustees will vote on its adoption at their Sept. 25 meeting.

"I'm certainly pleased we have a balanced budget," President Alice Jacobs said.

Under the proposal, the college would spend about $34.42 million over the current fiscal year, which started on July 1 and ends on June 30, 2013. That's about a 10.5 percent decrease from the 2012 fiscal year budget of about $38.5 million.

Part of the decrease reflects a decrease in enrollment due to the end of a two-year federal stimulus grant funneled into the Workforce Investment Act Fund. The money helps provide students tuition, books and other services necessary for their education and training.

"We can't serve as many students as we had served in the past because that money decreased," Chief Financial Officer Tammy Clark-Betancourt said, adding the loss represents a 9 percent decrease in federal funding from the 2012 fiscal year.

The proposed operating budget — unrestricted funds that pay for most salaries and benefits, contractual services, utilities and other day-to-day expenses — would spend about $15.34 million, about a 1.6 percent decrease from the previous fiscal year.

It would bring in about $15.67 million in revenue. Clark-Betancourt said about $4.23 million, or 26.9 percent, would come from state funding; about $6.36 million, or 40.6 percent, would come from tuition and fees; and about $4.6 million, or 29.4 percent, would come from property taxes and other local revenue. The rest would come from federal funding, interest and miscellaneous funding.

The college's tax rate is projected to decrease from about 62.32 cents per $100 of assessed valuation to between 61.33 and 62.09 cents. That will depend on the overall equalized assessed valuation in the district, "which we won't know until next spring," Clark-Betancourt said.

Jacobs pointed out that the projected rate continues to be down a few cents from the 1998-2011 fiscal years, when the rate was 66 cents per $100 of assessed valuation.

Jacobs said the proposed spending plan includes funding to replace part-time faculty with one full-time faculty member in the culinary arts, early childhood and math programs.

"While we're not expecting enrollment to be as strong as it had been in the last five years, we continue to have continual high enrollment in those programs," she said.

In addition, the college will have funding to continue the Achieving the Dream initiative, aimed at helping more students, particularly low-income and minority students, achieve their academic goals. It also will be able to finish the last phases of the Mary Miller project that's providing much-needed space for the math and science division, and renovate its new extension site in Hoopeston.

Also at the meeting, the board will vote on whether to accept property at 847 E. Orange St., Hoopeston, for the extension site, pending results of an appraisal, a Phase I environmental study and an asbestos study of the property. It also will vote on a proposed project budget of $440,000 plus architect/engineering and contingency fees, and to retain Walton & Associates of Springfield as the architect/engineering firm for the project.

The Hoopeston Regional Health Center, which is merging with Carle, is donating its business offices to the DACC Foundation for the site. DACC officials plan to open the site by the fall 2013 semester to make it easier for residents in northern part of the district to continue their education.

The site, which must be converted from offices to classrooms and a computer lab, will offer general-education courses, including college transfer and career/technical courses; dual-enrollment courses for high school students; and continuing education courses. It also will offer courses that are specially designed for seniors; English as a Second Language and adult education courses; and contracted corporate and business training programs.

In addition to the health center's donation of the site, the Hoopeston Area Healthcare Foundation donated $206,000 to the DACC Foundation for the extension site. Of that, $50,000 will go toward developing the site, and $156,000 will provide scholarships to students from Armstrong, Bismarck-Henning, Rossville-Alvin, Hoopeston, Milford and Cissna Park going into health-care fields.

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