SHERIDAN — The Northern Wyoming Community College District will have a projected budget of just under $30 million for the upcoming school year, which includes salary increases for full-time employees and an increase in student fees.
The district’s total operating revenue for fiscal year 2018-19 will be $29.9 million, slightly more than this past year’s $29.1 million.
The state of Wyoming will fund about two-thirds of the budget, with appropriations of $19.9 million. About one-fourth of the budget — $7.7 million — will come from tuition and fees. Local appropriations account for most of the remaining $2.3 million.
The salary increase proposes a 1 percent raise and an additional $750 for full-time employees. If approved, it would be the first across the board salary increase in four years at NWCCD and go into effect Sept. 1.
The student fees proposal would increase fees by $2 per credit hour, generating about $115,000 for the college district.
There will not be a tuition increase.
Out of that nearly $30 million budget, $21.7 million will go toward salaries and benefits and $7.8 million toward general operating expenses. Furthermore, around 46 percent of the operating budget will be spent on instruction and instructional support; 19 percent on institutional support; 16 percent on student services; 13 percent on operation and maintenance of facilities; and 6 percent on scholarships.
The NWCCD board of trustees heard this information in a budget work session before its meeting Wednesday evening. The board didn’t take action and will consider the budget proposal — with any revisions — during its July meeting.
NWCCD Vice President of Administrative Services and Chief Financial Officer Cheryl Heath went through the budget. She mentioned that NWCCD is planning to enhance its security services. Board Vice Chair Walter Wragge inquired about security cameras. Heath mentioned that the district is working on getting exterior cameras for some of its parking lots and planning to install blue lights near the walkways between the Whitney Center and parking lots near the Bruce Hoffman Golden Dome.
Wragge also asked about purchasing interior cameras, and Heath said NWCCD is not planning to buy any this year.
During the regular meeting, the board approved a land exchange agreement with Sheridan County School District 2 and land easements to eventually build a John C. Schiffer Collaborative School on the southern part of the Sheridan College campus.
Trustee Gary Koltiska was the lone vote opposed to the land easement proposal. He disagreed with the proposal because he believes the potential location of a Schiffer School limits further construction.
“We’re restricting ourselves for building new dorms, building more onto this complex,” Koltiska said. “I’m not opposed to the Schiffer School, don’t get me wrong, but I am opposed to where it’s located.”
Trustee Debra Wendtland spoke in favor of the proposal, saying it builds connections between Sheridan College and the community by providing space and opportunities for students.
“Trustee Koltiska has raised some interesting points, but as far as I can see, those issues have been taken care of,” Wendtland said.
The board also approved the potential sale of its Spear-O Mountain Campus property in the Bighorn Mountains. Wendtland was the sole vote opposed to the proposal.
The college district administration is working on getting an appraisal of the property.
NWCCD President Paul Young said it likely won’t be sold right away.
Board Chair Norleen Healy asked about the possibility of leasing the property this summer. Young said it is possible, but that he would not want to extend a lease beyond this summer.
“Our interest is in getting our money out of this and that’s what I’d like to see,” Young said.
The board approved five new people to serve on the Center for a Vital Community board for a three-year term ending in June 2021. The new members are (The Sheridan Press publisher) Kristen Czaban, Arik Jacobson, Ryan Koltiska, Josh Law and Anne Pendergast.
The board approved Yvonne Gatley to serve on the Sheridan College Foundation board for a three-year term ending in June 2021.
The next regular board meeting is scheduled for July 18.