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WTC Employees Could See Pay Increase

Western Texas College employees could see a pay increase if the preliminary 2012-13 budget findings come to fruition.
Western Texas College employees could see a pay increase if the preliminary 2012-13 budget findings come to fruition.

Patricia Claxton, chief financial officer, and Mike Thornton, chief operating officer and interim president, presented a preliminary budget report to board members during Monday night's meeting.

Claxton reminded the board that all of the information is preliminary and work on finalizing the budget would begin once tax values are ready later this month.

Employees could receive a 1.5 to 3 percent pay increase depending on service time, Claxton said. "We did not give pay raises or move anyone up on the pay scale last year."

She noted that with insurance costs going up, many employees took a hit on their paychecks the past year.

"We are looking to see if we can do more for our employees," Claxton added.

According to preliminary figures, the pay raises will cost $146,000.

Other additional requests which could be included in the budget are two 15-passenger vans and one midsize car ($66,000), adjunct pay increase ($39,000), an assistant athletic trainer ($35,000), theater upgrades ($13,720) and increased travel expenses for the golf team ($12,600). In all, $383,542 in funding is being requested on the "wish-list."

The administration outlined $363,213 in new required spending for the 2012-13 budget.

Among the major spending is $60,879 for athletic scholarships; $40,000 for a purchasing/compliance officer; $30,000 for a counseling position and utilities; $26,000 for a position in the financial aid department; $22,000 to the appraisal district and tax office for contract increase; and $17,311 to hire a full-time assistant track/cross country coach.

Claxton said the increase for athletic scholarships was needed because tuition rates were increased. The college will also pay for athlete meals prior to the school year. Members of the volleyball, soccer and cross country teams begin practice in early August and will be fed at the expense of the college, Claxton said.

When asked about reserves, Claxton noted the college has 37 days of cash in the bank. It was recommended by auditors to have 90 days of cash on hand.

"We are on our way to reaching that if the government does not ask for money or something major happens," she said.

Revenues in 2012-13 could see anywhere from an $8,000 to $86,000 drop in state appropriations, Claxton noted.

However, she is projecting $450,000 in additional taxes and $320,000 in tuition increases to help offset lost money from the state.

The reason for the projected lost state funding is due to the decline in contact hours.

"We are funding our second year by the number of contact hours," Claxton said.

Thornton noted that contact hours have steadily fallen over the past few years.

With the taxable values increasing some 17 percent compared to last year, Claxton said the tax rate may drop to 19 cents per $100 valuation. Currently, the tax rate is 21 cents.

No action was taken on the budget. Prior to the discussion, board member Eddie Peterson questioned the bank contract with Texas Savings Bank.

Claxton said she believed once the bank sale is complete with Comanche National Bank that the Texas Savings Bank contract would be "null and void."

However, she wanted to do additional research on the situation and report back to the board.

In other business, the board approved the hiring of three people -- Alisa Carter, math instructor; Donald Sewell, business instructor; and Chad Smith, government instructor.

The technology bids were tabled since proposals arrived Monday and questions arose. Roy Bartels, dean of technology, wanted more time to review the bids.

The board did approve a Texas Association of School Boards risk management fund interlocal participation agreement for employee health insurance.
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