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County pares community college's budget request


What did Carroll Community College officials say to the county commissioners after the Office of Management and Budget cut their budget request by $74,348?

"We appreciate your support," said Alan Schuman, vice president for administration, in an informal budget review meeting yesterday with the commissioners.

College officials said they would not formally appeal to commissioners the budget office's decision to give the college less than it requested for the 1994-1995 fiscal year.

The college had asked for $196,658 more than the current year's $2.3 million, but the county budget office said it should receive only $122,310 more next year.

In addition, Carroll Community College plans to increase tuition by $4 a credit hour, from $48 to $52, to raise an additional $164,000.

However, all the numbers could change if the college gets what it really wants: a revision in state financing that would bring an additional $889,000. That money would eliminate the need to raise tuition or to ask the county for the additional $122,310 for operating expenses, Mr. Schuman said.

Because of its recent independence, Carroll Community College still gets student reimbursement from the state at a lower rate. That rate is a vestige of its former status as a branch of Catonsville Community College.

College President Joseph Shields said college officials and trustees would be in Annapolis today with other community college representatives to urge lawmakers to approve a supplemental budget giving Carroll and eight other community colleges their fair share under the state formula.

In other business, county commissioners heard a request from the Office of the Comptroller for an automated purchasing system.

County Comptroller Eugene C. Curfman told the commissioners the computer system would make county purchasing more efficient. Carroll is one of the few counties without such a system.

"This would cut down on additional paperwork that would have to be done by secretarial staff," he said.

The purchasing system, which would be tied to the county's mainframe computer, would allow departments to submit requests, and the budget office to approve them, on the computer. County purchasing agents then would print out the request.

County Budget Director Steven D. Powell said the system was a request for fiscal year 1996. The department will be doing a cost verification study during fiscal 1995.

Requests for the purchasing department dropped $4,560 this year, primarily because of a $41,350 decrease in contractual printing services. Rents and utilities, personal services, travel for conferences and materials requests all increased.

The proposed $1,423,350 comptroller budget for fiscal 1995, which begins July 1, is $20,855 higher than the budget for fiscal 1994, officials said.

Much of the additional money, $13,340, has been requested by the accounting office. It includes $7,750 for a cashier/registrar position, $1,280 for staff development conferences and $2,220 for an increase in bank service charges and printing forms. The remainder would cover increased costs in supplies and materials.

Requests for covering the expense of selling bonds increased $10,500 in the budget proposal, although county officials are unsure of the exact amount necessary because the expenses increase when more bonds are sold, Mr. Curfman said.

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