Community college asks for more county funding

By Vicki Hyatt | Apr 22, 2014

During a recent budget work session, Haywood Community College leaders requested a 16.5 percent budget hike from the county for the coming fiscal year.

The increase, if granted, would raise the county’s contribution to current operations and capital outlay from $2.35 million to $2.74 million.

A priority for additional county funds will be to hire an in-house small projects construction coordinator— something Brek Lanning, the college’s director of campus development,  said will save money in the long-term.

He referenced the cost of three small projects done in the past four months, which if done in-house, could have paid for the construction coordinator for an entire year.

Another requested increase would cover a professional service contracts for custodial work and an armed resource officer through the Haywood County Sheriff’s Office. Commissioners asked for clarification on the sheriff’s contract since they understood the agreement signed earlier in the year would be covered through other college funds, not a budget increase through the county.

The largest request is for capital outlay where the college is asking for the current $250,000 appropriation to be doubled.

Counties in which community colleges are located share responsibilities for institutional support. The state covers salaries and administration costs while the counties pay for maintenance  and capital improvements.

Much of the extra requested capital improvement  funds would be used to repair roads, curbs and sidewalks, 75 percent which are original to the 50-year-old campus, Lanning said.

While the commissioners expressed support for the college and the plans for the coming year, they cautioned college leaders present at the work session of the tough economic climate ahead.

“I don’t think anything you’re asking for is unreasonable,” said Commissioner Kirk Kirkpatrick. “Unfortunately, anything anyone asks for that is an increase will require a tax increase. There’s no way around that.”

Commissioner Mike Sorrells pointed out the county’s  revenue picture is “relatively flat at best. All you have presented is  very important and we’ll sure try and look at it, but I’m not sure what we can do. There’s only one way to get additional revenue and it is not a very popular thing to do.”

Comments (7)
Posted by: Allen Alsbrooks | Apr 23, 2014 13:35

No. Raise tuition. Hold a car wash or bake sale. Hit up some churches.

Posted by: Scott Lilly | Apr 23, 2014 15:41

County commissioners on record protecting the taxpayer.  I like it.  Maybe some revenue from selling the Folkmoot property or the old prison can go toward improving the college?


The Haywood County tax office has a tax value of either $2.1M or $1.1M for the prison site -- depending which parcel it is that's up for sale.  The Folkmoot property has a tax value of $2.6M.  Since we all know the Tax office uses undisputable values to determine taxes, that could be a great source of funding for the college.  Right?

Posted by: Charles Zimmerman | Apr 24, 2014 09:06

             Sell OUR prison. Using the excuse that there was no where for released prisoners to go to, OUR prison is being used by local preachers to prosylitize, even though there are in fact, many buildings with IRS designations of "church" whereby We the peoples subsidize their existence. Many of these US tax-payer subsidized buildings stand empty except when used for services. It is because the preachers and/or parishoners don't want ex-cons or the "least of us" to be anywhere near their church that there exists problems requiring OUR public response. If local churches truly fulfilled their "Christian duty", there would be no need for much public assistance. We are paying for their failures. Ironic they failed to apply the lessons learned from their bible, such as the unwed knocked-up mother mary being denied room at the inn, whereby her illigitament as some would call him, son was born in a barn amongst the animals.

                  IRS designated churches should be required to pay property tax. It is speech that cannot be taxed. However, a tax designation of "church" does not allow for interferrance into politics. "No Taxation Without Representation" was not just a suggestion.

              It is, by and large, self-judged "Christians" that are the enemies to Christ's message.




Posted by: Scott Lilly | Apr 24, 2014 09:21

"OUR prison is being used by local preachers" -- Hm.  I know that was proposed.  I didn't know it actually happened.


If it did happen, then our county donated more than a million dollars to that effort (so says the tax office) while at the same time the college says it needs repair and tax increases are being considered to fund that request.

Posted by: Scott Lilly | Apr 24, 2014 09:39

Someone smarter than I should search the Haywood County GIS and inventory all the property owned by Haywood County.  I must be reading it wrong because there looks to be an awful lot of county-owned property. (155 parcels?) My thoughts on county-owned property:


1) County-owned property isn't providing tax revenue to the county.  That's money that could be used to repair the college.

2) County-owned property has maintenance and upkeep costs.  That's money that might be used to repair the college.

3) If there's not enough county funding to properly maintain a property like the college, then perhaps focusing the limited funds we DO have on mission-critical property is what should be done.  That would suggest property that is NOT mission-critical ought to be disposed of.

4) If the county disposes of excess property and it finds that it can't get market value as determined by the tax office, then it might reconsider any complaints from county citizens that might think the tax office is using market values that are too high.

5) When someone stands up and says the county needs some other kind of property for something, consider the property the county already owns and doesn't use.

6) When someone wants to give county property away, consider the tax office market value when deciding how valuable a gift they make and what proceeds from a market-value sale could have funded elsewhere in the county.


Posted by: Charles Zimmerman | Apr 24, 2014 09:57

               While local sheriff may have had good intentions, OUR state Constitution restricts his duty to not "control or interfere with the rights of conscience". If this is happening, it puts US at risk. In this secular republic, all it takes is one person to stand up and remonstrate against a perceived wrong. Sheriff may have to change his ways but will not be stuck with the bill for his failures. We will.



Posted by: Allen Alsbrooks | Apr 24, 2014 13:05

If I recall, and I could be wrong, "church property" isn't subject to ad valorem taxes. Income of the "church" is tax exempt under the premise of "tithing."

Since "church people" want to infringe upon our liberties in the name of their "G-d" maybe it's time they contribute to the tax coffers.

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