By Victoria Fregoso, Lead Reporter at County10.com
The Central Wyoming College Board of Trustees approved the revised preliminary budget Wednesday night, cutting back a total of $936,000 over the next two years. The budget cut comes from the direction of Governor Matt Mead, he requested state agencies to reduce their budget by 8%. With natural gas production being the largest source of revenue to the state, the Governor asked state agencies to prepare cuts to their budgets because natural gas prices are at a 10 year low.
The college made their cut backs in the areas of operating expenses along with wages and benefits. CWC President JoAnne McFarland called the revised preliminary budget “proactive” and “strategic”. Over the past few weeks, college staff and board members had a series of meetings to decide where the cuts would be made. In 2013, the college plans on reducing the budget by $351,000 and in 2014 the reduction will be $585,000. The additional $234,000 in cuts for 2014 comes from the reduction in spending for major maintenance, phone services and printing.
Dr. McFarland said they tried to minimize the impact on individuals and eliminated positions that were already vacant. However, a portion of these cuts would discontinue funding the position of Dean for Institutional Advancement with the CWC Foundation. The college was funding 100% of the position’s benefits and salary which totaled $99,000 a year. The CWC Foundation is the college’s main source for fundraising. According to Dr. McFarland, it raises about $193,000 a year. Part of the board’s approval of the preliminary revised budget asks the foundation to fund the position on it’s own, although several board members voiced their concerns about possibly reconsidering that decision as Dane Graham, who currently holds that title, does an exceptional job.
The board will make their final decision on the budget during their July 18th meeting.