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College's budget request is uncertain, dean says


The county's contribution to Carroll Community College's operating budget this year depends on many factors beyond its control, the Carroll County Commissioners were told yesterday.

In the best-case scenario, the college would not request any more money than it did last year. In the worst case, the commissioners would be asked to contribute about $350,000 and tuition could go up by $6 per credit hour.

"There are many scenarios if we don't achieve independence" from Catonsville Community College, said Carroll Community's executive dean, Joseph F. Shields.

Carroll Community College, a branch of Catonsville Community College, was hoping to become an independent school by June. That move would give the Carroll college an additional $843,000 from the state.

If the colleges are not separated, the Carroll County commissioners will be asked to add about $167,000 to the local institution's budget, and tuition could go up by $4. However, Carroll Community College may lose an additional $186,000 in state aid because Baltimore County has not financially supported its community colleges, Mr. Shields said.

In addition, the Baltimore County college's board of trustees has denied several tuition increase requests and is expected to do the same to Carroll Community College.

"We would hope they [the board] would make an exception in our case," said Mr. Shields. "But that is their decision to make."

College officials also asked the commissioners to move renovations of the current library space up one year in the capital budget.

College administrators told the commissioners they expect to move into the new library facility during fiscal year 1996. However, renovations of the current space are not planned until fiscal 1997.

College administrators are concerned that they might have to leave the space vacant for a year, or move a department into the space and relocate it when renovations begin.

In other budget meetings with the commissioners yesterday:

* The Carroll County Volunteer Fireman's Association requested a $149,570 increase over last year's adopted budget. The biggest increase came from workmen's compensation coverage, which doubled this year, said Oscar Baker, president of the county fireman's association.

Carroll's 14 volunteer fire companies are looking for patterns in injuries and will sponsor safety seminars in those areas, he said.

* The Department of Management and Budget requested a 5 percent budget increase.

Budget director Steven D. Powell said most of the increase is the result of higher county insurance premiums and a new federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration requirement to give new employees hearing tests. The test results would be used if an employee later claimed a work-related hearing loss.

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