WC board proposes flat tax rate
In their monthly meeting Thursday, the Weatherford College Board of Trustees voted to propose a Parker County ad valorem tax rate of 12.2476 cents per $100 valuation, the same rate as the board adopted in August of 2021.
The average community college tax rate in the state of Texas is 18.070 cents (2021-22).
“I am very pleased that in the face of 9 percent inflation we were able to develop a balanced budget without increasing the tax rate,” said WC President Tod Allen Farmer.
The proposed rate would fund a $73.5 million 2022-23 budget, a decrease of $7.9 million over the amended 2021-22 budget primarily due to the depletion of CARES Act funding.
Because the proposed rate would bring in additional tax dollars due to increased valuations, a public hearing is scheduled for Monday, August 22 at noon in the Community Room of the Emerging Technologies and Workforce Building.
In his President’s Report, Farmer:
- Congratulated Shanna Mello for facilitating the funding of a $295,050 grant for electric vehicle charging stations. 14 stations will be installed in the Alkek Fine Arts Center parking lot and the college is working on plans for charging station installations at the Wise County campus.
- Recognized the Workforce Education team for secure a Jobs for Education in Texas grant for $296,263 to purchase heavy construction equipment simulators and drones.
- Congratulated Tonya Piehl and the respiratory care program for receiving the President’s Award for Excellence in Credentialing Success from the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care recently in Palm Springs, Calif.
- Congratulated former Coyote baseball pitcher Matt Hickey for his selection in the recent Major League Baseball Draft. The St. Louis Cardinals selected Hickey in the 15th round.
- Announced 31 Coyote athletes have been selected for National Junior College Athletic Association All-Academic teams for the 2021-22 year.
- Thanked the generous donors who have contributed to WC and the WC Foundation. Since the President’s Circle was established over six months ago to recognize donors who have contributed $100,000 and above, five new donors have been added to this prestigious list.
- Announced the resignations of Bill Cooper, police sergeant; and Jessica Pugh, Upward Bound counselor.
- Provided an enrollment update for the Fall 2022 semester. As of August 9, year-to-date enrollment was up 18.5 percent, with 4,375 students enrolled system-wide compared to 3,689 at the same time in 2021.
In other business, the board:
- Approved minutes from their July 14 meeting.
- Approved financial reports ending July 31.
- Approved future board meeting dates and times.
- Approved disposal of obsolete and surplus items through e-waste recycling and online auctions.
- Revised the purchasing policy requiring written quotations for purchases $5,000 and above to increase to $10,000 and above beginning Sept. 1.
- Authorized administration to proceed with a proposal for a new Associate of Applied Science degree program in Early Childhood Education. This AAS degree is in preparation for a proposed Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences degree in Early Childhood Education and Teaching.
- Appointed Prosperity Bank credit card account administrators.
- Approved the determination of prevailing wage on construction projects for 2022-23.
- Received a written academics and student services update.
- Received a written annual testing report.
- Received a report on recycling from Lauren Tidwell, assistant professor of biology. Tidwell said refillable water bottle stations at the college’s Weatherford, Wise County and Granbury campuses have replaced more than 54,000 plastic water bottles. WC has also purchased eight new recycling bins to expand recycling efforts from paper only to aluminum cans and plastic.
- Received a report from Tonya Piehl, respiratory care program director. In addition to the aforementioned President’s Award for Excellence in Credentialing Success, the program was recently named the top-ranked respiratory care program in the state of Texas and tied with 22 others as the top-ranking programs in the United States.