Janesville41.2°

BTC budget expanding with programs

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Kayla Bunge
April 8, 2008
— The demand for welders has prompted Blackhawk Technical College to seek expansion of its welding program, an approximately $750,000 slice of the budget pie to be presented to the BTC Board for approval Wednesday.

The expansion includes almost $700,000 for moving and remodeling the facilities where welding is taught. It also includes a faculty position previously funded by a state grant, a move that could cost about $50,000.


Dan Hartstern, vice president of finance and college operations, said beefing up its welding program is the college’s No. 1 priority.


Among other financial highlights:


-- Information technology: BTC plans to bolster its information technology infrastructure and strengthen online learning opportunities.


“Technology is so important to all that we do,” Hartstern said.


Plans call for creating an online learning coordinator position, changing its online learning management system and obtaining software that would allow students to do more online, such as registering for classes and making tuition payments.


“We’re a technical college,” Hartstern said. “We ought to be serving students in a technologically competitive way.”


-- Traffic safety center: BTC plans to conduct needs assessments for the proposed traffic safety center at the airport. The facility would train police and others in emergency vehicle operations.


“We can’t just build a $5 million operation,” Hartstern said. “We want to know that there’s a market and a demand.”


Plans call for setting aside investment funding for the project, too.


-- Student services: BTC plans to fund a preparatory learning support position, which used to be funded by a state grant. Hartstern said helping students who are in transition, whether from high school to college or from the workforce to college, continues to be an emphasis at the college.


-- Trimming staff: BTC plans to cut staff in its Business and Community Development Department.


Hartstern said the program, with which local businesses contract to receive training, has seen a decline in revenue the last few years.


“It’s a very volatile area,” he said. “When GM runs out of training money, so does the rest of Janesville.”


The people in those positions likely will be transferred to other positions, but Hartstern said the college expects to lay off at least one person.


2008 BTC budget

A look at the 2008 budget for Blackhawk Technical College:


Highlights: The Blackhawk Technical College Board charged officials with building a budget that maintains current programs yet doesn’t increase the tax levy by more than 4.9 percent.


What’s next? The finance committee will make its recommendations to the board at 7 p.m. Wednesday on BTC’s Monroe campus, 210 Fourth Ave., Monroe.


Total budget


Next year $28,530,325


This year $27,401,963


Increase 4.1%


Tax levy


Next year $20,625,490


This year $19,662,050


Increase 4.9%


Tax rate


(Per $1,000 of equalized valuation; based on 5.25% growth in property values)


Next year $1.69


This year $1.69


Decrease 0.3%


Note: Percent changes calculated on whole numbers.



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