By ASHLEIGH LIVINGSTON
---- — PLATTSBURGH — The Clinton County Legislature has approved Clinton Community College’s 2013-14 spending plan, which cuts jobs and raises tuition.
Legislators voted unanimously in favor of supporting the $15 million budget, which calls for a total of $2,554,828 in county funding.
“The college really put a lot of thought into this budget, and they had to do some pretty tough budget-cutting things,” Finance Committee Chairwoman Sara Rowden (D-Area 4, Town of Plattsburgh) told the Press-Republican.
CCC President John Jablonski noted, in a separate interview, that while the county’s contribution is up 3.6 percent or $89,788 from 2012-13, it amounts to an annual average increase of just 2.17 percent over the last four years.
“There were some years when we didn’t ask for much of an increase from the county,” he said.
In addition, the college is supported by student tuition, state aid and compensation from other counties that have students attending CCC.
The college expects enrollment to drop from 1,269 full-time students in 2012-13 to 1,188 in the current year, resulting in about $303,000 less tuition revenue.
And although state aid will increase 3.6 percent in 2013-14, Clinton Community is still reeling from a 21 percent drop in state funding in 2009.
To reduce personnel costs by about $602,000, the school’s 2013-14 budget cuts 11 full-time positions, five of which were eliminated as the result of an early retirement incentive offered by the college last spring.
In addition, non-union management confidential staff will not receive a raise for the second straight year.
The spending plan calls for tuition to go up $140 or 3.6 percent this school year, for a total cost of $3,960 per full-time student.
Clinton Community will not, however, apply any of its remaining fund balance to the spending plan.
The college used $436,220 in reserves in its 2012-13 budget but has opted not to touch its remaining $903,993 in fund balance for the time being.
Those unallocated reserves represent 6.63 percent of the school’s net operating costs, and the state recommends maintaining a fund balance of 5 to 15 percent of such costs.
“The concern we had was we didn’t want them to have to continue eating into their fund balance, and this budget did not,” Rowden said.
Jablonski noted that Clinton Community enjoys great support from its county sponsor, and he is very pleased with the working relationship between the two.
“We received a lot of favorable comments (from the legislature) about the work that we’re doing in and for this community,” he said.
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