May 202011

By Linda Kor–

The Navajo County Community College District Governing Board met May 17 and approved a $26.5 million proposed budget that includes a $4.4 million unexpended plant fund to be utilized on upcoming capital projects.

The proposed budget reflects a $22.1 million general fund budget, which is a reduction of $2.3 million from this year’s $24.4 million general fund budget. The unexpended plant fund carried over from this year was $2.6 million and adds $1.8 million this upcoming fiscal year to total $4.4 million.

When presented with information on the proposed capital projects, board member Dusty Parsons expressed his concerns that in a March 15 budget analysis, the $4.4 million was not included. “From the month of March to the next meeting in April this comes up. If this was important enough, then why was it not on the March 14 budget?” he asked.

Northland Pioneer College Vice President of Administrative Services Blaine Hatch explained that it was a preliminary budget and a capital plan was subsequent to that.

“I would have liked to see the $4.4 million go out to the voters. We have a $25 million cash flow and according to the April 26 budget, we have a $7.8 million carryover. That’s 28 percent of our budget that will be carried forward. I don’t know anyone that is able to do that with a budget,” stated Parsons. “This college does a great job. We increase wages $500,000 with no impact on the budget. We have too much money.”

Hatch explained that the three-year strategic plan for Northland Pioneer College included capital projects that need to be completed. With that in mind, the 2012-13 capital project expenditures would come to approximately $8.2 million and would include a new welding facility at the Holbrook campus, as well as vocational skills centers at the Holbrook and White Mountain campuses. “With these funds set aside we can do those projects without having to go out to bond,” explained Hatch.

Board Chairman Bill Jeffers agreed. “We are short staff and facilities. To go out to bond is very expensive. If we can do these projects without going out to bond, then we are serving the public. I think we are very good conservators, it is not the college that’s breaking your back. We will continue to vote for the betterment of the college,” he stated.

The majority of the board agreed, approving the proposed budget with board members Daniel Peaches, Ginney Handorff, Louella Nahsonhoya and Jeffers voting in favor, and Parsons voting in opposition.

In other business, the board approved the college’s Strategic Plan Annual Report for 2010-11, a brief summary of the institution’s accomplishments related specifically to the strategic plan for the current academic year.

Also approved was the purchase of three Hewlett Packard servers with virtualization software from Frontier Technology, LLC at a price not to exceed $60,000.