Colorado Mountain College trustees approve balanced 2016-17 budget
Steamboat Springs — Colorado Mountain College leaders have made targeted cuts to the 2016-17 budget to offset decreased revenue, while still allowing eligible employees to receive a cost-of-living raise.
CMC Board of Trustees members in late June signed off on the college’s $62.6 million operating budget.
Routt County trustee Ken Brenner said the college is feeling the effects of decreased oil and gas tax revenues coming primarily from Garfield County, a change that affects the college’s comprehensive budget for all service areas, including the Steamboat Springs campus.
“We’ve been trying to balance our expenses, and that’s been all about finding efficiencies,” Brenner said.
Brenner is supportive of a temporary early retirement benefit program that offers bonuses for employees interested in retiring. The program saves costs, because often, replacements are hired at a lower salary level.
The college also increased its minimum class-size level, reduced operational budgets, reduced legal expenses and made changes to employee benefits, specifically, increasing insurance contributions for employee family members.
The 2016-17 budget includes a 2.5 percent cost-of-living increase for eligible employees not topped out on the college’s salary schedule.
“We know our employees have been working harder than ever under our ambitious strategic plan, so we strived to ensure that this budget also allows us to continue to pay college employees competitive wages by covering a 2.5 percent cost-of-living increase,” said Linda English, vice president of fiscal affairs for CMC.
College leaders said the budget is tied to the school’s 2014-18 strategic plan, in that it allows for the continuance of the $1,000 President’s Scholarship for all in-district graduating high school seniors, increasing inclusiveness.
Brenner said that, looking forward, he expects the board to further study housing issues at each of the college’s campuses, which could lead to new housing being constructed in Steamboat Springs.
Brenner said campuses in August would give presentations to the board on capital needs for the next five years.
“All 11 locations will have a chance to present everything they can reasonably think of for the campus,” Brenner said.
He said Steamboat could use both additional student housing and housing for employees.
“Every community is struggling with this issue, and Steamboat is no exception,” Brenner said.
Brenner said capital projects could be forthcoming in the next two years.
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On a glorious September day in 2019, a ribbon stretched across the Yampa River near 10th Street in Steamboat was ceremoniously cut and the Yampa River Fund was officially launched.