DOBSON — “You shouldn’t need anything. You just got a bond,” joked county Commissioner Eddie Harris as he prepared to hear the budget request of Surry Community College.
However, the college’s chief financial officer, Tony Martin, said the recently passed N.C. Connect bond won’t cover all of his institution’s needs.
“The bond is for construction only,” remarked Martin.
At a budget workshop held by the Surry County Board of Commissioners last week, Martin asked county commissioners for a 9.4 percent increase in county funding to maintain operations.
If the request is approved, the county will contribute $2.4 million to the operations at the college in the upcoming fiscal year.
A large part of Martin’s request was for repairs and maintenance to existing structures at the college. An additional $65,000 was requested for capital projects, such as fixing sidewalks.
A 3.7 percent increase for salaries and contracts was requested, which would increase expenditures in that line-item from $822,881 to $853,346. Martin noted some of the increase was a result of adding funding to the budget for an increased presence of part-time campus police officers.
Increases in utility usage at the college has necessitated an increase in “utilities and fuel” expenditures, rising from $495,118 to $542,000. According to Martin, 25 percent of electricity used by the school is as a result of the school’s thriving welding program and the new facility which houses it.
“It’s a great program, and classes are running around the clock,” noted Martin.
College officials will learn whether county commissioners will approve the requests when county commissioners put their seal of approval on a finalized budget prior to July 1, the start of the 2016-17 fiscal year.
Andy is a staff writer and may be reached at 415-4698.