BY LOHR McKINSTRY
---- — ELIZABETHTOWN — The 2013-14 operating budget for North Country Community College holds county shares to the same level as this year’s.
College President Dr. Steven Tyrell presented the $14.6 million spending plan to the Essex County County Board of Supervisors Finance Committee on Monday.
Tyrell told lawmakers the sponsor shares for Essex and Franklin counties remain at $1.14 million each, plus $50,000 apiece for the NCCC capital fund.
COSTS, REVENUE UP
The budget itself is up 7.3 percent for the next academic year, from $13.6 to $14.6 million.
Revenues are up 2.6 percent, from $13.6 million to $13.9 million. The budget estimates increases in state aid, plus a tuition rise of $150 a year, the first since 2011-12.
The Essex County Finance Committee unanimously approved the college’s budget, and it gets another vote at Ways and Means on Monday, July 29.
The final vote will come Aug. 5 at the board’s regular session.
The budget will be presented for approval to the Franklin County Legislature on Thursday.
As sponsors, both counties must OK it.
Tyrell said the largest part of the increase is for full-time salaries. The total rose 10.1 percent over this year.
“That’s mostly in negotiated salary agreements for faculty, (student) retention initiatives,” the president said.
Vice President for Fiscal Operations William Chapin added that the college is still in negotiations with Civil Service employees for a new contract, and they allowed for that.
Additional employees helped increase the salaries total in the budget.
Tyrell said they’re working hard on retaining the students they have and attracting new ones.
“They didn’t have the study skills they needed,” he said of some of the NCCC students who left. “Some students are leaving us and going to other colleges. We’re looking at where they’re going.
“The bigger number is students who never came to us in the first place; they went to other colleges.”
Supervisor David Blades (R-Lewis) is a former school guidance counselor, and he offered some insight into why some students choose one college or the other.
“Many colleges would form a better relationship with me, as opposed to other colleges,” Blades said. “They (counselors) need to form a good opinion of your college as a whole.”
NCCC is working with guidance counselors in the area to accomplish that, Tyrell said.
The college has a main campus in Saranac Lake and branch campuses in Ticonderoga and Malone.
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