The stop-gap budget is good news for Heartland Community College, but significant holes remain in the college's budget. The college's million dollar deficit was greatly reduced however after receiving $700,000 from the state stop gap measure.
Vice President for Business Doug Minter said Heartland is in better shape for next year due to precautions taken in their three-year realignment plan.
"There were a variety of cuts we've made in preparation for 17, not the least of which was a three year plan so we have fewer employees in Fiscal year 17 than we had in 16. Of course salaries is one of our most major expenses, so it's not just the stop gap funding, and by no means are we our of the woods because there's a number of things that we're continuing to keep clamps on moving forward" said Minter.
Heartland President Rob Widmer said the reason the college went with a multi year re-alignment plan was to try and keep financial spending better in line for the long term. This is the first year of that long-term restructure. Minter said they are proceeding cautiously until a full budget is passed. President Rob Widmer said the remaining red ink makes long term planning difficult.
"We have to make a decision about 16, whether we carry that deficit and take a little more pressure off 17, or apply it to 16, but with a deficit then you create other issues with bond ratings, we're always working with our financial statements and higher learning commission to preserve that bottom line and and end with a balanced budget."
Minter will present a more substantial budget update during their Board of Trustees meeting September 20th.