Sunday, July 14, 2024

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ACC looks for 16 percent increase in county funding for upcoming fiscal year

The budget and finance committee for Alamance Community College’s board of trustees voted unanimously this week to approve a $4.5 million county budget request for the 2022-23 fiscal year that begins July 1.

The proposed county budget request will be presented to the full board of trustees during their annual planning retreat later this month.

If approved by Alamance County’s commissioners, the proposed county budget would represent a 16.3 percent increase above the $3.9 million in county funding allocated to ACC for the 2021-22 fiscal year that ends June 30.

By comparison, ACC received $3.5 million in county funding for current expenses and $334,000 for capital funding (or building repairs and maintenance). ACC also had $472,611 in county funding for capital expenses that has been carried over from previous years.

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ACC associate vice president of business and finance Christopher “CD” Crepps said Wednesday afternoon that the costs to operate two new buildings are driving the need to seek more county funding for the upcoming fiscal year.

A Biotechnology Center of Excellence and a student services center are under construction on the Graham campus and are scheduled to open during the 2022-23 fiscal year, Crepps reminded the trustees’ budget and finance committee.

Duke Energy recently notified ACC that it had received special approval from the state utilities commission to raise electric rates by 10 percent for the upcoming year, Crepps said Wednesday afternoon.

“Our other costs are just increasing so significantly,” Crepps said, acknowledging that ACC had completed energy upgrades several years ago as part of a “performance contracting” agreement that was supposed to reduce future costs for utilities.

The performance contracting agreement enabled ACC to borrow about $3.5 million to repair a 40-year-old heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system in the Main Building on the Graham campus; and savings on future utility bills were to be used to repay the loan.

ACC president Dr. Algie Gatewood told the committee Wednesday afternoon that his administrators would put together a report to show how effective the performance contracting arrangement has been in reducing the college’s utility expenses. He said the report would be presented to the budget and finance committee at a future meeting.

The trustees’ budget and finance committee voted unanimously to approve the proposed county budget request for 2022-23 as presented. The committees members include: Pete Glidewell; Bill Gomory; committee chairman Carl Steinbicker; and Cynthia Winters.

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During his subsequent presentation of the college’s monthly balance sheets, Crepps told the committee that state funding for the current fiscal year also includes a “special allocation” of $1.8 million for ACC that can be carried over to the next fiscal year. (Customarily, any unspent state funding has to be returned to the state’s General Fund at the end of each fiscal year.)

The trustees are scheduled to hold their annual retreat on Friday, March 25 at Alamance Country Club. They are also scheduled to consider and vote on a county budget request for 2022-23 during their regular meeting, scheduled for 12:00 noon that day.

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