Hearing set on FM budget

JOHNSTOWN – The Fulton County Board of Supervisors recently set a public hearing for July 14 on Fulton-Montgomery Community College’s proposed $19.7 million 2014-15 budget.

The board set the hearing for 1:30 p.m. that day in the second floor Supervisor’s Chambers at the County Office Building.

County Administrative Officer Jon Stead provided copies of the spending plan, which calls for no increase in contributions from Fulton and Montgomery counties, but raises tuition by $50 per student for the next academic year. This is the seventh-consecutive year the college is seeking no increases in contributions from the two counties. Fulton and Montgomery counties each contribute about $1.4 million to FMCC.

Both counties still have to vote on whether to approve the budget before it is sent later this summer to the State University of New York for final adoption.

Stead said FMCC President Dustin Swanger will be present to answer questions at the July 14 hearing.

In the budget’s executive summary provided by the county, it is noted FMCC would be increasing its budget by 6.1 percent for the next academic year. With the tuition raise, tuition will be $3,648 per year. The college plans to use nearly $370,000 of fund balance to help balance the budget. Lab fees are expected to be effected this way: $150 increase in the Rad Tech lab fee; $5 increase in the technology fee, and elimination of a $50 graduation fee.

On the expense side, the budget will see a 2.4 percent – or $260,211- increase in personnel services, including for a new position of FMCC assessment coordinator. Other increases in expenses are: benefits – $316,000; equipment – $198,000; maintenance repairs – $43,000; and contractual services – $166,050.

On the revenue side, the college expects an increase in full-time equivalent aid of $75 per FTE; $45,000 in Job Linkage Funding; and $30,000 in GAP funding for remedial education.

Equipment OK

On another FMCC matter, supervisors last week authorized the college to purchase $800,000 worth of computer equipment as part of planned technology upgrades on campus. The upgrades include work on the FMCC network core router and associated hardware, blade server environment, upgrades and additions to campus storage area network devices, and upgrades to backup storage.

Stead said FMCC wanted, through the resolution, to be able to do more management of its own technology upgrades.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at manich@leaderherald.com.