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WCCC trustees finalize $38.5M budget

| Thursday, June 26, 2014, 12:01 a.m.

Westmoreland County Community College trustees gave final approval to the school's $38.5 million budget for next year at its meeting on Wednesday.

The spending plan for the 2014-15 fiscal year, a 0.5-percent drop in spending from this year, was given preliminary approval last month and was open for comment. No changes were made to the preliminary budget, and trustees approved the final budget without discussion.

The budget includes 3 percent pay raises for administrators, staff and coaches as well as contractually negotiated raises for faculty and clerical workers. Administrators used a tuition hike of $5 per credit hour for in-county residents and $10 per credit hour for out-of-county residents to fill a budget gap left by shrinking enrollment.

Trustees also discussed the college's purchasing policies with some questioning why so few companies submitted bids for equipment and printing needed by the college.

Trustee Chad Amond said he was disappointed that only one bidder — Indiana Printing & Publishing — out of 13 potential bidders submitted a proposal for the tabloid-style piece WCCC mails to certain households to advertise the college and its courses. WCCC requested the mailer have a four-color cover and newsprint interior pages, which some printers said they could not produce.

Amond said trustees hope to look at altering what it requires when putting out requests for bids to generate more competition and responses. Indiana Printing was awarded the job for $34,885.98.

Trustee Jess Stairs suggested WCCC officials sit down with administrators from neighboring Seton Hill University and St. Vincent College to discuss the idea of establishing a purchasing consortium to help the schools negotiate lower costs.

In a rare move, trustees rejected a proposed purchase of a tool and cutter grinder for the new Advanced Technology Center because bids were requested from nine suppliers and only one, B/G Industrial, responded.

WCCC requested bids for a discontinued model, which was the main reason other companies did not respond, said trustee Gene Ciafre.

Trustees voted to reject the bid to allow the proposal to be rewritten seeking a current model so more companies bid.

Kari Andren is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-850-2856 or kandren@tribweb.com.

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