Board hears BCCC’s budget request

Published 7:31 pm Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Pictured in the foreground at left, Kent Dickerson, new director of nursing at Beaufort County Community College, on Wednesday led county leaders and community college officials on a tour of a new Allied Health building at BCCC. Construction is scheduled to be completed in August and classes are expected to start in the building this fall. (WDN Photo/Betty Mitchell Gray)

With the expected opening this fall of a new building to house its Allied Health programs, Beaufort County Community College will need an increase of $152,000 in county funds to cover its operations, said BCCC President David McLawhorn.

That increase was included in a request for $2,154,730 in funds for the college’s operating expenses for the 2012-2013 fiscal year. That request was made Wednesday by college leaders to the Beaufort County Board of Commissioners.

The commissioners met with the BCCC Board of Trustees on the college campus and toured the new building.

Classes are scheduled to begin in BCCC’s new Allied Health building this fall. With an estimated cost of $7.6 million for the building and equipment, the building will house the college’s associate degree and practical-nursing programs, nurse-assistant classes and medical laboratory-technology program.

Its equipment and construction costs are expected to be paid through grants and loans by the county that the community college receives from sources including the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Economic Development Administration, the Golden LEAF Foundation and state certificate of participation funds, among others.

College officials have requested an increase of $180,781, or about 9.2 percent, over the $1,973,949 appropriated in the current fiscal year by the county for college operating expenses.

About $28,781 of that increase is the result of increases in the costs of benefits for full-time employees and the cost of ongoing repairs to buildings and equipment, the commissioners were told.

McLawhorn also presented a $165,000 capital budget for the college for the 2012-13 fiscal year, an increase of $25,204, or about 18 percent, over the college’s 2011-2012 appropriations from the county for construction needs.

The construction budget includes funds to repair or replace some heating and air-conditioning units on the college campus, repairs to campus roads and parking lots, two new campus vehicles and other needs.

The college’s budget request has always included items of “real need,” McLawhorn told the commissioners. “And you have responded with real money to take care of those needs.”

County leaders are scheduled to meet with the Beaufort County Board of Education on April 30 to hear a funding request for the county’s public schools for the upcoming fiscal year.

They are expected to begin their review of County Manager Randell Woodruff’s proposed 2012-1013 fiscal year budget in early May.

In an interview, Woodruff said he hopes the commissioners would fund most, if not all, of the community college’s entire budget request.

And while some commissioners said they support the college’s request for additional funds, others said they would scrutinize carefully requests from any agencies seeking an increase in funds during the coming fiscal year.

“Everybody who’s looking for an increase are going to be looked at real hard this year,” said Commissioner Hood Richardson in an interview after the meeting.