Big Spring Herald Weekend

Howard College Board of Trustees set to discuss budget, tax rate

- By ROGER CLINE Herald Staff Writer

After public hearings on the subject, the Howard County Junior College District Board of Trustees will consider adoption of the district’s Annual Budget and Tax Rate when it meets Monday.

Aug. 16, the board set the proposed tax rate at 23.6777 cents per $100 valuation, an increase of about two cents over this year’s 21.6675 cents per $100. Howard College President Dr. Cheryl Sparks said the rate would cause the College District’s portion of local property taxes on a $100,000 home to rise by $20.10 for the year, while tax on an average-value home in Howard County would increase by $33.84.

Finishing touches on the College District’s budget are still being hammered out, according to Dr. Sparks. Although she declined to give any specifics regarding the financial plan for the upcoming year, Dr. Sparks said that it will be presented to the board Monday.

The board will start the meeting with an executive session at 10:15 a.m. to discuss informatio­n security and personnel.

At 11:45, the board will break for lunch and will reconvene at 12:30, when they will hold the public hearings on the Howard College and South West College for the Deaf 2021-22 budgets.

The board will consider routine matters, including minutes of the Aug. 2 and Aug. 16 meetings; financials for July; monthly reports of Auxiliary Services; personnel matters and an internal audit report.

In the New Business portion of the meeting, the trustees will first hear an update on final pricing of Revenue Refunding Bonds before considerin­g adoption of the annual budgets for Howard College and SWCD and the district’s tax rate.

The board will hear an update on the COVID-19 response status and the Open Howard College program; and on plans for the college’s 75th Anniversar­y plans.

The board will also hear reports on performanc­e measures and outcomes, including the Quarterly Investment Report; and Operationa­l, Financial and Student Success indicators.

The board will consider funding for repair of its Central Plant compressor in Big Spring.

Also on the agenda for monitoring are handbook and catalog changes; annual review of the Investment Policy with regards to the Public Funds Investment Act; Auditor services; Renewal of the Depository Bank; an interlocal agreement between the Texas Department of Informatio­n Resources and the Junior College District; and constructi­on/ renovation projects including the Big Spring and SWCD roofing projects and continuing reports related to damage from previous hail storms.

Dr. Sparks will present her regular report on upcoming activities and recognitio­ns.

The board will hear legislativ­e and general updates; consider conflict disclosure forms; and oversee a Service Award presentati­on.

The board will also consider the possible resignatio­n of an at-large trustee, and consider replacemen­t options, including holding a special election or appointing a new board member, if necessary.

Finally Board Chairman John Freeman will give his regular report prior to the meeting's adjournmen­t.

The open portion of the meeting will begin at 12:30 p.m. Monday in the Fireplace Room in the Student Union Building. In addition to in-person attendance, the meeting may also be accessed by telephone by calling 1-888-204-5987 and entering the access code 3148424# .

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