By Linda Kor
During the March 22 meeting of the Navajo County College District Governing Board, the board reviewed a budget analysis for the upcoming fiscal year and was informed that the overall revenues are expected to be relatively flat compared to the current fiscal year. It is anticipated that state funding will provide an increase of nearly $267,000, with $24,000 related to enrollment and $243,000 related to equalization aid.
Staff recommended that the primary property tax be levied at the maximum rate, which is two percent higher than the current year tax levy and will require a truth-in-taxation hearing. Vice President of Administrative Services Maderia Ellison explained that property tax valuation is continuing to decline as local valuations have increased by nearly $7 million, but are offset by decreases totaling $31 million related to properties that are centrally valued such as utilities and mines, including the closures at Cholla Power Plant in Joseph City.
While a maximum levy would increase the current tax rate of $1.7423 per $100 of net assessed value to $1.7884, it would actually result in decreased revenues to the college of nearly $150,000 due to the decreased valuations.
Ellison added that the proposed Executive and Legislative Budget will provide $353,700 in funding for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) related activities, an increase of $8,200 from the current year appropriation.
The budget was presented to the board for analysis, with action on setting the budget to be taken at the April 19 meeting.
The board approved a $2 increase per credit hour for in-state tuition for the college. This would bring the rate to $70 per credit hour. Out-of-state tuition will increase by $10 to a rate of $335 per credit hour. There will also be modest increases in course fees for a small number of courses and a reduction for a couple of others. There will now also be a $10 online transcript fee and an increase of $5 for a paper transcript.
Betsy Ann Wilson, executive director of NPC Friends and Family, reminded board members and others present that Tuesday, April 5, is Arizona Gives Day. Last year the college received $14,200 in donations and this year the goal is to surpass that amount. Wilson explained that Frontier Communications would match up to $5,000 in donations made to NPC. All funds raised benefit students by funding the Fill The Gap and Leg Up grants. The online 24-hour giving period allows Arizonans to pledge their financial support to their favorite nonprofit by going online to azgives.givebig.org.
A review of the space use study requested by board members regarding the utilization of the four college campuses was tabled to allow the board more time for consideration.
In other action, the board:
* Approved small program modifications in courses in the fields of construction, welding, early childhood development, computer information systems, elementary education, graphic design and web design.
* Heard a report by William Fee, interim director of human resources, regarding NPC’s participation in the three-year Get Into Energy grant for the industrial Maintenance & Operations, Mechatronics and Welding programs. It was noted that NPC was expected to contribute 10 percent of the enrollment, as it was the smallest consortia college participating in the grant, but instead made up 42 percent. The grant provided funds to expand capacity in energy training programs by providing curriculum, lab equipment, hiring program staff, and developing college and career pathways for students.
* Approved a memorandum of understanding between NPC and Northeastern Arizona Innovative Workforce Solution to provide training, assistance in identification of occupations, career pathways, skills and competencies, as well as refer potential students to Northeastern Arizona Workforce for appropriate services.
* Awarded a $404,967 contract to Edge Construction of Phoenix for the removal and installation of a new roof, and the installation of the pre-purchased HVAC equipment for the Learning Center at the Painted Desert Campus in Holbrook.
* Approved a five-year $15,000 contract with Geo Drive, LLC for external evaluation services of the TALON (Technology to Advance learning Outcomes at Northland) project under the Title III grant awarded to NPC in the fall of 2015.
* Approved the additional cost of $34,785.47 associated with three change requests for the drainage and landscaping project at the Silver Creek Campus in Snowflake. The original $100,491.96 contract was awarded to Navapache Equipment Services.
* Approved the purchase of Cisco data storage for 10 high school classrooms for a total cost of $163,450, plus tax.
By Linda Kor