Yavapai College District governing board discusses proposed budget

The Yavapai College District Governing Board (DGB) reviewed the college's proposed $83.7 million budget for next year at its regular monthly meeting on Tuesday, April 14 at the Prescott Campus. Board members Al Filardo, Dr. Patricia McCarver, Deb McCasland and Ray Sigafoos were present at the meeting. Steve Irwin was unable to attend.

Dr. Clint Ewell, vice president for finance and administrative services, presented the preliminary budget for the 2015-16 fiscal year that begins July 1, 2015. The proposed budget, which includes a 2% increase in the property tax levy for Yavapai County property owners, would be an increase of .3% over the college's FY 2014-15 budget. In response to Board member questions about the effect of a smaller or no property tax levy increase, Ewell said the college would have to "eliminate or delay some critical new initiatives and make additional reallocations" within the budget.

By state law, each Arizona community college district can increase the property tax levy by 2% a year, but Yavapai College has not increased the Yavapai County property tax levy for the past two years. It was noted that nine of Arizona's 10 community college districts are requesting a 2% property tax levy increase for the coming fiscal year. Board members asked the Yavapai College staff to provide more information about possible budgeting options at the Board's next meeting on May 19, with the expectation that the Board will vote on the final budget at its June 9th meeting. By statute, the college is required to have a balanced budget approved by mid-June.

Reports to the Board

Ewell also reported on changes to the Campus Master Plan, including slowing plan implementation from 10 to 14 years, not selling the college's Sedona Center, not expanding the Career & Technical Education Center (CTEC) building or parking lot, and budgeting extensive renovation of Building L on the Verde Valley Campus in 2017-18.

Dennis Garvey, YC dean of Lifelong Learning, reported that enrollment in the college's non-credit Community Education programs has increased by 44% over the past four years. The number of unique participants in the college's Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) has increased by 47% over the same period. OLLI is a peer-directed organization within Yavapai College that provides lifelong learning and social interaction opportunities, typically for older adults.

Yavapai College Small Business Development Center (SBDC) client Vetraplex, LLC was named a 2015 Success Award winner by the Arizona Small Business Development Center (AZSBDC) Network. Located in Cottonwood, Vetraplex is a franchise business owned and operated by Gary Rideout. Since the college's SBDC began working with Vetraplex, the business has gone from two employees in October 2013 to 16 employees as of December 2014, and its revenues increased from $30,000 in 2013 to $778,000 in 2014. Vetraplex was honored at the 2015 Success Awards and Legislative Lunch ceremony at the state capitol in March.

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