JALC passes $38M budget

2013-09-25T03:00:00Z JALC passes $38M budgetBY NICK MARIANO, The Southern The Southern
September 25, 2013 3:00 am  • 

WEST FRANKFORT — For the first time in seven years, John A. Logan College trustees agreed to spend less than they did the previous year while approving a $38 million budget Tuesday for the current fiscal year.

Despite spending less, officials expect declining state and local revenues to cause a $4 million shortfall in the budget, though about $1.3 million in spending is in contingency and may not be used.

The deficit comes despite ongoing adjustments to the budget in the last 30 days to trim an additional $143,000 from the plan, lowering expenditures about $22,000, .06 percent, compared to last year’s budget, Vice President Brad McCormick of Business Services and College Facilities said.

The new fiscal year began July 1.

Faced with a $435,000 loss in state revenue and a decline in enrollment, administrators were compelled to start from scratch with the plan, forcing each department head to look at every line item and to prioritize their spending needs, McCormick said.

McCormick said administrators are not concerned about the performance of the college because of revenue losses or flat spending.

“Some of them were natural through a lot of retirements and replacement with newer faculty and staff,” he said of lower expenses.

“The challenge for us is that property values are flat and state revenues are down.”

The retirements will save the college about $186,000 this fiscal year.

Although tuition was increased to $97 an hour in the spring, revenue from tuition and fees is expected to drop 2 percent or $296,148 this year compared to last because of anticipated enrollment declines.

Tuition at the college is fifth lowest in the state, he added.

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