Balanced $73.9 million budget includes expected 1.96% reduction

On May 20 the Colorado Mountain College Board of Trustees held its first hearing on the FY 2020-21 budget for the college. The meeting was held via video/teleconference call in consideration of state and local public health orders.

Staff presented a balanced, projected budget of $73.9 million, with an expected 1.96% decrease in revenues compared to the current year. The budget includes a 1.25% cost-of-living increase for employees, which is equal to mandatory cost increases on employees in the PERA state pension program.

A summary presentation of the budget will be made in June, including up-to-date changes in allocations from the state. At the June meeting the trustees will be asked to formally adopt and appropriate funds for the FY 2020-21 budget. The draft budget is available on the Colorado Mountain College website.

On the recommendation of the board’s government relations committee, trustees also voted to take action to support a proposal for a possible concurrent resolution in the Colorado Senate.

Trustees heard about how the Colorado Department of Local Affairs anticipates that special districts like CMC, school districts and fire districts may likely experience further negative effects from the Gallagher Amendment in 2021 and beyond. Under Gallagher, as the value of real estate falls, the proportion of taxes owed will shift toward owners of commercial buildings. Current DOLA estimates suggest that the state’s residential assessment rate may decline by 18% in 2021.

As a result, the board voted unanimously to support a proposal under consideration by the Colorado Legislature to refer a measure to the ballot in November that would strike several Gallagher-related provisions from the state constitution that have recently resulted in revenue reductions to local services, especially those in rural communities.

On the second of three required reviews, trustees unanimously voted in favor of a $1/year lease with the Mountain Board of Cooperative Education Services for the CMC building in Buena Vista, the second of three actions required for long-term lease agreements by CMC board policies. BOCES is a nonprofit, regional educational collaborative representing four P-12 school districts: Leadville, Buena Vista, Fairplay and Salida. BOCES wants to use the building for administrative offices and for educational purposes including offering professional development to teachers and staff. It is anticipated that the trustees will take the third and final vote on the lease agreement at its meeting in June.

The board also welcomed Dave Armstrong, the recently appointed liaison to the board from the Salida area, to his first board meeting.

Trustees also:

  • Approved the FY 2020-21 budget for board operations
  • Accepted third quarter financials for FY 2019-20
  • Approved an amendment to the license agreement for Commnet Four Corners LLC
  • Approved an Excel Energy utility easement on the grounds of the Breckenridge campus
  • Performed their annual performance review of the president, which included adding a one-year contract extension through 2023-24.