Central Piedmont Community College officials asked Mecklenburg County commissioners Tuesday to close a $4.4 million gap between what the college is requesting and what the county manager recommends for 2012-2013.
In the proposed 2012-2013 budget, County Manager Harry Jones would give CPCC $27.3 million a $1.5 million increase from the current year.
The increase would pay for operations and transition costs for the WTVI public television station. Commissioners agreed in March to pay the costs, clearing the way for CPCC to take over the financially troubled station.
The majority of the additional money the college wants would go for facilities, security, maintenance and telecommunications costs which counties are mandated to fund.
Zeiss: Need justifiable
But a portion would go for a salary supplement, which would help maintain current salaries and also could provide employee raises, according to Jeff Lowrance, CPCC public information officer.
We are absolutely critical to this communitys economy, CPCC President Tony Zeiss said. We ask for what we believe is verifiable and justifiable.
CPCC officials also discussed some of the colleges savings and reinvestments as a result of outsourcing projects. For example, the college said it saved $500,000 by outsourcing its bookstore management. The college is saving $414,555 annually by outsourcing its food services, officials said.
Commissioners Vice Chair Jim Pendergraph noted the college saved $3 million alone in outsourcing.
How close is that to the supplement youre requesting for teachers? he asked the CPCC officials.
Zeiss replied that $2.4 million is for the supplement.
So you can cover that, Pendergraph said referring to the salary supplement.
Kathy Drumm, CPCCs executive vice president, told commissioners the college cant necessarily take some money from the bookstore to fund the salary supplement.
Where CPCC gets funds
Community colleges receive funds from three primary sources in North Carolina: the state (the largest source), the county, and money raised through grants and other activities. Colleges can ask counties to fund pay raises, but the state does not mandate that counties provide those funds, Lowrance has said.
The county funds close to 17 percent of CPCCs projected 2012-2013 budget, according to the colleges presentation. CPCC has about 2,500 employees, including part-time faculty.
Jones proposed $1.4 billion budget would lower the county tax rate by 2.44 cents in the coming year, while giving more money to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, libraries and health services.
Commissioners must vote on the budget before June 30..
Commissioners were expected to begin taking straw votes on the budget Wednesday. But during discussions Tuesday, a majority of the six commissioners present was interested in possibly postponing the straw votes until mid-June. That would be after the state votes on its budget, and commissioners could see whether CPCC and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools will receive additional state funding.
The meeting Wednesday is scheduled to be in room CH-14 of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center, 600 E. Fourth St.