IVCC committee talks about tax levy, dental lab expansion, among other topics

Tax rate expected to stay flat, despite increased levy

The Monday Illinois Valley Community College board audit finance committee meeting covered the 2021 tax levy, compensation study, audit update, and financial considerations for a dental lab expansion, among other topics.

The committee discussed the tentative $13.9 million 2021 tax levy that includes a 9.3% increase over last year’s $12.5 million levy.

The levy is based on a nearly 9% increase in the district’s equalized assessed valuation. The levy will keep the tax rate nearly flat for taxpayers, said Vice President for Business Services and Finance Matt Seaton.

With the EAV increasing more than 5%, the board will hold a truth-in-taxation hearing Dec. 9.

The committee also reviewed a compensation study conducted by the business office in consultation with the Business Employment Skills Team to address employee turnover in several hourly positions — mostly in technology- and accounting-related services.

“The study provides research the board and administration can use when making compensation decisions for current and future employees,” Seaton said.

Committee members also reviewed:

  • Benefits of employing a third-party vendor to manage the college’s investments and strategies.
  • Hiring CampusWorks at a cost of $45,000 to do a 360-degree evaluation of IT services, protocols, security and staffing. If the full board approves, the contract would be paid for with HEERF funding.
  • An update on the audit being completed by Sikich. The Illinois Community College Board has extended the audit deadline to March 31.
  • Employment of a full-time COVID-19 specialist paid in part by the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund. Kimber King is also paid in part through the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund.
  • An update on the college’s financial position at the half-way point of the 2022 fiscal year.
  • Proposals for spending down HEERF funding such as HVAC and technology upgrades and purchase of a master scheduling system. Spring semester students enrolled in 12 or more hours will receive $1,000; those in 6-to-11, $500. Payments will be made after April 7. In addition, high school students enrolled in all IVCC dual credit and some dual enrollment courses will have tuition waived.
  • A dental lab expansion is out for bid at an estimated cost of $852,000. Dental Assisting is moving to the upper floor of G-Building with a dental hygiene program being added in fall 2023.
  • Financial considerations for $2.7 million in PHS projects including upgrades and repairs in Building C boiler room for $206,195; parking lot 1 repairs for $53,130; and removal and resurfacing of lot 5 for $718,200. Complete renovation of the band room for $1.7 million includes elevator replacement, asbestos abatement and removal of the raised floor. “If the levy is finalized in December, $1.17 will be levied for these projects,” Seaton said. Options for covering the remaining $1.5 to $1.6 million were presented.
  • A plan to pay all newly hired head coaches $8,000 and assistants $4,000 to be more in line with pay scales at other regional community colleges.Coaches who have not reached the threshold will have stipends increased to that level.
  • A plan to reallocate athletic tuition waivers to retain in-district students and recruit out-of-district students. “Reallocating waivers so all IVCC teams can benefit helps us spread financial assistance more broadly and increase roster sizes,” said Vice President for Students Services Mark Grzybowski.