Smith: BCCC in good shape

Published 8:55 pm Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Beaufort County Community College Board of Trustees met with the Beaufort County Board of Commissioners in a special session Wednesday morning.
Commissioners requested an update on any state funding the college had received. In the brief meeting, BCCC president Dr. Barbara Tansey gave commissioners an overview of her current objectives and Phillip Price, Dean of Administrative Services, shared the college’s state budget for fiscal year 2013.
The 2013 budget increased to $11,553,753, a 1.2 percent increase over 2012. The college’s enrollment increased by 1.04 percent.
In the last three years, Price said BCCC has had a lot of spending restrictions. The college could not purchase many supplies or fill vacated positions.
Budget reversions also restricted the college. In the state’s community college system, all of the schools contribute to one general fund that is then divided evenly between them. In three of the last four years, BCCC had a budget reversion. In other words, the college put in more money than it received.
In 2009, the reversion was $264,612. In 2012, the reversion was $103,378, or about one percent of the college’s budget. Tansey said BCCC has been asked to hold two percent of the fiscal budget for the projected reversion.
“This is an election year and they don’t really know how to budget for it,” she said.
Typically, the county funds maintenance and the school’s facilities.
Retirements and health insurance premiums were also rising expenses for the college. Health insurance premiums for employees were $4,156.56 in 2009 and $4,931.28 in 2012. The premiums will be $5,191.92 per employee in fiscal year 2013.
Price said the college had $7.8 million in full-time salaries and $475,000 in increased retirement costs.
Commissioner Hood Richardson was the only commissioner with a question for the board.
“This year, is any of the county’s money being used for retirements, health or anything the state should be paying for?” Richardson asked Price.
Price said none of the county money covered anything the state should cover, but retirement and insurance for maintenance and security employees did come out of the county budget.
Russell Smith, chairman of the Beaufort County Community College Board of Trustees, commended the college and its president for being fiscally responsible.
“The college is in good shape,” Smith said. “Instead of coming up with a long list of what we’d like to do, we’re coming up with a short list of what we can do.”