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Board gives nod to FMCC budget

Fulton-Montgomery Community College Acting President Gregory Truckenmiller discusses the college budget at a public hearing Monday at the County Office Building in Johnstown. (The Leader-Herald/Michael Anich)

JOHNSTOWN — The Fulton County Board of Supervisors on Monday adopted Fulton-Montgomery Community College’s $16.8 million 2020-21 budget, which didn’t request sponsor share increases.

Both Fulton and Montgomery counties will continue the next academic year to fund the college equal $1,545,821 shares.

Action 18-0, with one abstention, Monday by the Fulton County board at the County Office Building followed a public hearing on the budget. The only speaker was FMCC Acting President Gregory Truckenmiller.

“The proposal does include the state aid that was included in the New York state budget,” Truckenmiller said.

FMCC’s budget — adopted by college trustees in May — carries what Truckenmiller called a “modest” $140 per year tuition increase. The spending plan represents a 6.69 percent decrease from the current year’s $17.19 million budget. The budget anticipates revenues of $4.43 million in aid based on an enrollment rate of 1,275 full-time equivalent students, or FTEs.

“We are anticipating a decline in enrollment,” Truckenmiller stated.

The budget will be balanced in part through the tuition increase to a rate of $5,040 per year and a $334,141 fund balance allocation.

Salaries represent 53 percent of the college budget, with benefits another 30 percent.

The Montgomery County Legislature adopted the college budget July 28, so the spending plan now goes to SUNY for final approval. The budget would be effective Sept. 1.

FMCC’s budget consists of $795,000 in grants, and $16.04 million in operating revenue and appropriations.

The college’s use of $334,141 in applied fund balance results in a projection of $1.01 million left in fund balance, or 6.32 percent of the 2020-21 budget. A new three-year plan anticipates fund balance to be 4.9 percent and 4.6 percent of the FMCC budgets for 2021-22 and 2022-23, respectively.

Small College Aid is $188,000 and FTE funding came in at about $4.4 million in the budget. FMCC spending per FTE is $12,584.

Like other budgets, Truckenmiller said FMCC is privy to the financial situations brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are trying to react to whatever circumstances,” he said.

Caroga Supervisor Scott Horton asked Truckenmiller how FMCC was able to achieve a “substantial” decrease in benefits. The budget shows a reduction of salaries/benefits of just over $1 million, with a benefits expense decrease of $560,000.

The college official said the college moved away from a previous insurance provider and was able to achieve savings through Worker’s Compensation.

The FMCC operating budget document provided by the county indicated three strategic plan goals. They are: Improve the focus on student success and retention, strengthen communications, and expand resources at FMCC.

Other revenue totaling $1.6 million in the budget was listed as coming from these sources: Technology fees — $610,000; lab fees — $475,000; student wellness fees — $40,000; late fees — $45,000; forfeiture of deposits — $5,000; parking permit revenues — $10,000; workforce development –$50,000; certified nursing assistant — $45,000; FCA security contract — $25,000; foundation contract — $100,000; Campus View and HFM BOCES sewer revenue — $10,000; indirect grant income — $90,000; other unclassified revenue — $80,000.

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