LSC Chief Financial Officer Jennifer Mott said among the revenue decreases is an assumed 10% enrollment decline for the year and a 5% decrease from state allocations. Mott said enrollment declined in the fall semester as compared to the previous year, but not by the 10% projected for the year.
"We want to stay conservative in our budgeting," Mott said.
One expense projected for the coming year is $5 million in coronavirus costs, which includes personal protective equipment for staff and students and contingencies as well as a total of $2.2 million for elections. Mott said the cost of elections has gone up $1.7 million due to an extended early voting period and more mail-in ballots.
"This is a change from what was presented at the workshop [in July]," Mott said.
LSC is also allotting $1.1 million to purchase student computers and $1.7 million to support new facility operations. To lower the impact of increased expenses, Mott said, there have been $13.9 million in budget reductions across all colleges and vacant positions eliminated, and a hiring freeze has been maintained.
Mott said with the approved budget, LSC hopes to keep its cash reserves at around 17%.
The budget was built with an assumed no-new-revenue tax rate, as official certified values have yet to be released from the state at this time. Once the certified values are released, the board of trustees will hold a public hearing regarding the tax rate before voting on it at a future date.