Janesville29.3°

BTC budget boosts tax levy

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FRANK J. SCHULTZ
June 18, 2009
— The Blackhawk Technical College Board approved a budget with a 4.9 percent tax levy increase after a public hearing Wednesday.

No members of the public spoke at the hearing.


The board also approved a 1.5 percent raise for college President Eric Larson.


BTC Board Chairman Tom Westrick praised Larson for “going above and beyond” to lead the college through a year in which enrollments skyrocketed, the result of local layoffs and the weak economy.


The board also voted unanimously to give Larson a $2,000 contribution to his tax-sheltered annuity. Larson’s salary for the coming fiscal year will be $154,100.


The raise came after a closed-door session in which the board discussed Larson’s performance.


The budget calls for a 2009-10 tax levy of $21.63 million, up from $20.62 million in the current year.


The board approved a budget with total spending of $47.87 million, a 1.6 percent increase.


The budget reflects BTC’s commitment to accommodating “significant enrollment growth that began in 2008-09 and an expectation of continued demand as we kick-start the area’s economic recovery for at least one additional year,” according to the budget document.


Part of the increased spending is for eight new, limited-term instructors and one new, limited-term counselor.


BTC reports it had the full-time equivalent of 1,904 students in 2007-08 and an estimated 2,325 in 2008-09. The college projects 2,430 full-time-equivalent students for the coming year, a 27 percent increase over two years.


The budget calls for an increase in state aid of 9.9 percent. That remains an estimate, as the Legislature and governor have yet to complete work on the state’s biennial budget.


Local taxes account for 57 percent of revenues for 2009-10. Student fees account for 17 percent. State aid is 13.4 percent. Federal aid is 2.6 percent.


Other business

The Blackhawk Technical College Board on Wednesday:


-- Approved borrowing $2.5 million by issuing promissory notes and levying taxes to pay off those notes. The money is designated for repair, remodeling and improvement projects for buildings and grounds and equipment acquisition.


-- Approved increasing a $291,800 roofing contract at the central campus by $40,470. The added cost will cover additional roof work. The original cost was for Maly Roofing to replace 90,000 square feet of roof. The addition will cover an additional 12,450 square feet. The administration said the cost of the bid was so competitive that it wanted to take advantage of Maly’s low price. The district originally budgeted more than $500,000 for the project.


-- Recognized Director of Student Services Barbara Erlandson for her 18.5 years of service to the district. She retires June 30.



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