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CWC sets budget; public TV down 7 percent

CWC sets budget; public TV down 7 percent

Sep 19, 2012 - By Joshua Scheer, Staff Writer

The total budget is $56.6 million, a 1.6 percent increase compared to last year's $55.7 million.

The Central Wyoming College Board of Trustees have finalized the CWC budget for this fiscal year.

Vice president for administrative services Ron Granger said the budget was nearly the same as what was presented to the board in May.

Per Gov. Matt Mead's announcement in April that state budgets might see a reduction of 4 to 8 percent in the 2013-14 fiscal year, CWC staff opted to start cuts in the 2012-13 budget.

The total budget is $56.6 million, a 1.6 percent increase compared to last year's $55.7 million.

Due to capital construction projects already approved by the state for funding, in addition to step raises for employees, the budget appears higher than the previous year. Granger said if capital construction-related revenues and expenditures are taken out of the accounting, there is $1 million less being spent.

The operation fund increased the most at 35.9 percent to $20.3 million.

Expected grants and contracts decreased $2.7 million to total $3.9 million. Wyoming PBS's budget is expected to reach $3.9 million, a 7 percent decrease.

CWC BOCHES's budget decreased 1 percent.

To help make cuts, the board eliminated the CWC Foundation director position. Dane Graham held the job at the time.

Trustee Judy Pedersen had concerns with approving the budget.

"The only thing I have to say, it doesn't really make any difference, because we'll pass it anyway," she said. "The amount of understanding I have of this is minimal."

Pedersen said for a $56 million budget, she does not know it well, though she admitted staff does.

"I don't think we spent enough time on studying the budget," she said.

The budget passed unanimously. Trustee Frank Welty arrived at the meeting shortly after the vote.

Purchase request

A debate of board openness ensued surrounding whether or not a collection of purchases totaling more than $255,000 should be approved by the board.

Trustee policy dictates purchases of $100,000 or more must be board approved. At issue here was whether or not a collection of individual purchases, all dependent upon one another, must be approved.

Public information officer John Wood presented the situation to trustees.

The projects, he said, are to upgrade CWC's datacenter and are funded partly by state legislative funds.

Board attorney Frank Watkins said it was the governmental connection that drew his attention to the item. He sees the purchases as separate but under a single contract.

He said the board's policy addresses single purchases not single contracts.

Wood noted that all of the purchases are connected, saying he wouldn't purchase software without hardware.

"I appreciate what you're saying and what (Watkins) is saying," Welty said. "It would seem to me from an openness point of view ... this decision should come before the board."

Wood agreed that the board should be aware of it, and CWC president Jo Anne McFarland commended him for bringing the confusing purchase to the board's attention.

Welty reiterated that it should be brought before the board.

"But it is," trustee Charlie Krebs said.

McFarland and Wood wanted to leave it to the board to decide whether it should be approved or be allowed to proceed without action.

"These purchases have not been made," McFarland said. "The board can take action on this item if it so wishes."

Welty moved to declare the situation a single purchase. Pedersen seconded.

"I feel like we're splitting hairs," trustee Colton Crane said.

The motion failed 2-5, as Welty and Pedersen were the lone yes votes.

Wood took that to mean formal approval of the purchases was unnecessary.

Crane suggested a change in board policy wording be considered in the future.

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