CMC approves $65.5M budget | AspenTimes.com

CMC approves $65.5M budget

John StroudGlenwood Springs correspondentAspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN – The Colorado Mountain College board of trustees, meeting at the Aspen campus Monday, approved the six-county special college district’s $65.5 million general fund budget for 2010-11.Budget administrators factored in the potential for a drop of approximately 50 percent in funding from the state for the fiscal year. A similar percentage drop in revenues from the oil and gas industry is also anticipated.”The next three years are very uncertain for state funding, and the college is budgeting very conservatively in preparation for an expected shortfall,” according to a statement from the CMC board posted on the college website.Trustees also voted earlier this year to increase tuition 9 percent for the 2010-11 in anticipation of the drop in revenues.The board also kept the district’s property tax mill levy at the same rate. Due to the higher assessed valuation based on June 2008 property values, that will mean more property tax revenue for CMC this coming year than it got last year.However, administrators also anticipate that over the next two to three years, property tax revenues for the district could fall as much as 20 to 30 percent, as property valuations are revised based on June 30, 2010, assessments.The new budget also reflects less spending on college facilities, as several large projects have been completed in the past year.The college does plan an $8 million expansion of the classroom building in Edwards, and will start on the replacement of several older buildings at the Alpine Campus in Steamboat Springs with a single building. A new access road to the Steamboat campus is also being planned.CMC President Dr. Stan Jensen said CMC is involved in several subcommittees that are working on the statewide strategic plan for higher education. That strategic plan is due to be completed sometime within the next five months.The college’s new budget can be viewed at http://www.coloradomtn.edu. Choose the pull-down menus for “Communities & Friends,” then “Board of Trustees,” and then “Budget & Audit.”jstroud@postindependent.com