Press-Republican

Local News

July 8, 2014

Essex County OKs NCCC budget

ELIZABETHTOWN — Essex County lawmakers unanimously approved North Country Community College’s proposed budget with a 4 percent sponsor share increase Monday.

The college is asking for $50,000 more from both Essex and Franklin counties for 2014-15, for $1,190,000 from each county, plus $50,000 each for the capital fund.

FRANKLIN COUNTY VOTE

The Franklin County Legislature will vote on the spending plan July 17.

Legislators there have questioned the funding increase, saying the county’s 2015 finances may not be able to support it.

Both counties must approve the budget, but the sponsor amounts don’t have to be equal, in the event Franklin should decide not to approve the full amount requested.

After Monday’s Essex County meeting, College President Dr. Steven Tyrell said Franklin County has some new legislators who needed more background on the budget.

“They asked for more information; they had questions,” he said. “We plan to be there July 17 to have a discussion.”

NO PUBLIC COMMENTS

He said it has been five years since NCCC has asked its sponsoring counties for an increase.

The overall college budget of $14,304,000 is down about 1.4 percent and includes a $200 student tuition increase to $4,250 a year.

No one spoke at a public hearing before the Essex County Board of Supervisors Monday morning on the college budget.

ENROLLMENT DOWN

One issue that decreased college revenue is a 12 percent decline in student registration at NCCC, which went from 1,309 last year to a projected 1,150 for 2014-15.

Tyrell said they’re working on several ways to boost student enrollment, including more use of social media.

Social media reaches recent high-school graduates, but marketing to older potential students must be done in different ways, the president said.

To that end, the college added $125,000 to its budget for marketing to non-traditional students.

If that’s successful, the money would be an annual budget item to keep the momentum going, Tyrell said.

Supervisors Daniel Connell (D-Westport) and George Canon (R-Newcomb) were both absent, but excused, from Monday’s regular meeting of the Essex County Board of Supervisors.

Email Lohr McKinstry:lmckinstry@pressrepublican.com

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