ACC OKs budget, raises

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September 23, 2015 - 12:00 AM

Allen Community College trustees approved a new spending plan for the 2015-16 school year at a special meeting Tuesday after a new valuation was introduced by the county earlier this month.
Enbridge Pipeline’s new line coming through Allen County bumped up countywide valuation by more than $45 million. The higher valuation gives the college an added $765,990 in general fund or capital outlay spending authority for the upcoming fiscal year.
The ad valorem tax levy will stay at 18.75 mills.
ACC faculty will receive a 3 percent increase to their salary base of 2014-15. The trustees approved the master agreement and the agreement will be retroactive to July 1.
Trustee Mary Kay Heard asked about the possibility of adding trees to the campus. She is aware the college has had trouble growing trees around the campus.
“I don’t think the average Allen Countian does know how much trouble they’ve had in the past,” she said.
Chairman Ken McGuffin noted for the size of the campus it is pretty barren and also would like to see more trees.
The college has tried growing trees multiple times but with no success. President John Masterson gives the blame to the poor soil quality.
“We’ve contacted Kansas State before and they’ve sent people down and given us baby tress to start from scratch,” he said. “We’ve done soil tests and there were times we would plant 15 trees and only one would survive.”
Two of the main obstacles to growing trees is the clay soil on campus and the ability to adequately water the trees. The college does have an old water cart but Masterson pointed out that this would involve someone having to take time to water each tree.
The trustees all agreed they’d like to pursue another attempt at planting trees. Brian Counsil, vice president of finance and operations, will look into past files to see where trees were planted and what types of trees were used.

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