PLATTSBURGH — Clinton Community College President John Jablonski has asked the County Legislature for $89,000 more than last year for the 2012-13 budget.
If approved, the county’s annual sponsor share would total $2,465,040 for next school year.
Jablonski made the request at the Clinton County Finance Committee meeting Wednesday, highlighting the college’s diverse program offerings to demonstrate to legislators what the county’s money supports.
For example, he said, Clinton Community’s nursing, electrical-technology, wind-energy-and-turbine-technology and industrial-technology programs strengthen the local workforce and support area industries.
“I am proud, and we hope that you are too, of the accomplishments of Clinton Community College,” he told legislators at the meeting.
“We’re grateful for the support of the County Legislature and the constituents that you represent.”
Clinton Community’s 2012-13 spending plan, which was adopted by the college’s Board of Trustees at a recent meeting, includes an unrestricted operating budget of $15.6 million.
The college, which is funded by student tuition and contributions from both the state and county, projects a 2.6 percent increase in operating costs in 2012-13, Jablonski said.
He also noted that, while state aid will increase slightly during the upcoming school year, decreases in state aid over the last three years have resulted in a revenue loss of approximately $829,500 annually.
To combat increasing costs and decreasing revenues, Jablonski said, the college has and will continue to take steps to reduce spending.
“We know that we can’t come to you and ask for an increase without knowing that we’ve done some things on our side to help reduce expenses where we can,” he told legislators.
WON’T FILL 7 POSTS
In addition to reducing equipment costs by 35 percent, Jablonski said, Clinton Community will leave seven positions vacant during the upcoming school year and reduce adjunct faculty and faculty overloads by $100,000.
Through collective bargaining negotiations, the college has also eliminated the two most expensive of its three health-insurance options for its workers.
Clinton Community will also raise tuition for full-time, in-state students by $100 per semester for 2012-13. However, it remains lower than the median tuition of SUNY community colleges, Jablonski said.
“We are still going to be the most affordable college (with the) lowest tuition of all of the colleges in our region.”
County Administrator Michael Zurlo told Jablonski that he appreciated his efforts to reduce the college’s operating costs and increase revenues.
“I’m not saying that there’s always going to be county sponsorship of additional money because sometimes it’s just very difficult, and it’s becoming increasingly difficult in the environment under which we are now living, but those things I greatly appreciate,” Zurlo said.
The college will also use $436,220 in reserve funds to balance its 2012-13 budget, leaving an estimated $1,274,630 in fund balance — or 8.7 percent of Clinton Community’s net operating expenses — remaining at the end of next school year.
Following the presentation, legislators commended Jablonski for his hard work and recognized the college for its valuable contributions to the local community.
“I’m quite proud of the campus and all the changes that have been made to help make yourself more efficient and also the community to be properly educated for the jobs that are available,” County Legislature Chairman James Langley Jr. told the college president.
The legislature will hold a public hearing on the college budget at its next meeting, set for 7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 22, in the Legislative Chambers of the Clinton County Government Center, 137 Margaret St. The legislature will vote on mater following the hearing.
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