CMC weighing $63.1M budget for 2012-13 | AspenTimes.com

CMC weighing $63.1M budget for 2012-13

John StroudPost Independent Aspen, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS – The Colorado Mountain College board of trustees is in the process of reviewing a proposed $63.1 million general fund budget for next year.And the general public can do the same between now and the CMC board’s scheduled budget vote on June 18, according to CMC officials.The draft 2012-13 budget can be viewed at any CMC location, including locally in Glenwood Springs, Spring Valley, Carbondale and Rifle. It can also be found online at http://www.coloradomtn.edu, under the “Communities & Friends” tab (click on Board of Trustees/Budget & Audit).The proposed spending budget represents a $4 million increase over the current fiscal year. That’s due in part to revenues being slightly higher than projected for this year and continuing into the next fiscal year, according to a summary of the budget proposal.Total revenues are projected at about $63.3 million, including $46.9 million from property taxes within the multi-county special community college district.Total tax revenues are projected to come in at about $7 million more for the current year than originally anticipated.The college’s mill levy rate is proposed to remain at 3.997 mills, the same as it’s been for the past 19 years.”The economy seems to be improving slowly and, barring international interrupts, should continue to slowly recover,” CMC President Stan Jensen observes in a letter accompanying the proposed college budget.State funding for higher education is also expected to increase some next year, although CMC is less reliant on those funds.About 74 percent of CMC’s funding comes from property taxes. While property tax revenues will stay about the same for the new year, they are expected to dip again in 2013-14, Jensen said.CMC board President Glenn Davis said the proposed budget reflects the”student-focused” goals outlined in CMC’s strategic plan, including technology and facility improvements, as well as new faculty and more training for adjunct faculty.”It also includes additional support for online learning and enhanced overall student experience in both the two- and four-year programs,” Davis said in his introductory statement.The new four-year degree programs in business and sustainability, which began last fall, are expected to continue to operate at a deficit of about $708,000 in 2012-13.”It has been assumed that these programs will take a few years to break even,” according to the budget proposal. “Because of this, the college established a reserve fund to carry bachelor degree programs through the initial phases of being established.”The proposed budget also reflects an average 6.5 percent tuition increase approved by the CMC board earlier this year.A 4.3 percent increase in two-year credit student enrollment is projected for next year, and four-year student enrollment is also expected to increase as students move up in the programs.Included in the budget is a $1.5 million expenditure for salary and benefit increases for college faculty and staff. New technology projects are budgeted for roughly $1.2 million, and facility maintenance/remodels is slated for $5.6 million.The CMC board of trustees is scheduled to vote on the proposed budget at its June 18 meeting, which will be held at the Aspen campus.jstroud@postindependent.com