Local News

Wake Tech Must Cut Budget

Posted Updated

RALEIGH — April 1, 1996, 6:05 p.m. EST

Wake Technical Community College must find a way to cut $409,000 from its budget after receiving about half the amount of specual funding it sought from the county.

Wake County commissioners agreed Monday to give the college a special $500,000 appropriation, but they warned college administrators to manage their budget better.

College officials had said they needed $900,000 to avoid cutting programs or even closing until the of the fiscal year, which ends June 30. They say their financial bind was caused by agreeing to provide college training sought by students and industries, on a promise from commissioners to cover the costs this spring.

Commissioners, however, say there was no formal deal for the allocation and that they had no idea of the college's financial predicament.

Monday night, college officials were preparing a list of possible cuts -- most likely reducing summer school offerings -- to present Thursday to college trustees.

Wake Tech has an annual operating budget of $27 million, of which $5.1 million came from the county this fiscal year.

Although the college received 20 percent less in local money this year than it spent last year, Wake Tech administrators have been operating at previous levels. According to Wake County Finance Director Raymond Boutwell, this is the third year that Wake Tech has spent more than was budgeted.

Administrators said that's because the trustees decided the college should meet the demand for college training. They said they understood that additional county money would be forthcoming.

Wake Tech President Bruce Howell said that without additional funds he will have to recommend several drastic measures, such as terminating 40 to 50 part-time instructors and their courses, ending bus service and possibly putting all employees on furlough.

Howell said local financial support for the institution had dropped in recent years. He said until 1990, the county had provided $23 of every $100 spent by the college. This dropped to $19.38 last year, and this year is less than $18.50

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