JOHNSTOWN - Concerned about what may be a difficult economic climate in the coming years, Fulton-Montgomery Community College officials will follow Gov. David Paterson's lead and start working on the college's 2009-10 budget earlier than usual.
At a Board of Trustees meeting Thursday, college President Dustin Swanger said the college is experiencing unprecedented growth, which is good for the institution. At the same time, however, the college will face cuts in funding as the governor tries to reduce the state's 2009-10 predicted deficit of $12.5 billion.
To prepare for those cuts, Swanger said the board should begin the budget process early this year. Paterson already has said he would submit his budget to the Legislature in December.
"I think we will have a lot of work to do," Swanger said.
Money discussions and related issues came up at several other points in the meeting.
In light of the economy, the board also rejected several bids for a vehicle purchase. Board members said if they seek bids again, they may receive more reasonable and affordable prices.
The board unanimously agreed to stop printing multiple copies of the school's financial report to save paper.
Swanger suggested the change. He said he realized most trustees probably do not read the multipage report, which details the finances of every department in the college. The report also comes with a summary that points out the notable information trustees should be aware of.
Several trustees said the board is sufficiently informed by the summary, and printing out a copy of the full financial report is unnecessary. Swanger said any trustee who wants to see the full report could obtain one easily.
In other business, the board approved a memorandum of agreement between the college and its building and grounds employees, effectively enacting a contract agreement between the two.
Negotiations on the contract have been ongoing for more than a year.
The agreement, which was approved by the employees several weeks ago, covers about 15 buildings and grounds workers.
Their last contract expired Aug. 31, 2007.
After talks between employees and the college reached an impasse in December, a mediator was brought in. Despite the mediator making no progress between the two, the two sides eventually reached an agreement.
Included in the contract is a 3.5 percent pay increase retroactive to the 2007-08 year.
The contract also includes a 3 percent raise for 2008-09 and another for 2009-10.
Kayleigh Karutis covers Gloversville news. She can be reached at email@example.com.