Tri County Tech adds ways to boost revenue

Chris Day |

Tri County Tech officials are beefing up popular programs to offset reductions in state education money, Chief Financial Officer and Director of Operations Kim Smith said.

Smith outlined Tri County Tech’s fiscal year 2017-18 budget during a special meeting recently. The budget increases locally controlled revenue by 7.6 percent from the fiscal year 2016-27, she said. Locally controlled revenues include tuition, industry training done by The Strategy Center and child-care tuition.

Tri County Tech is adding more options to its adult flex and fast-track programs, which are designed to give those already in the work force additional training and certifications. Most flex program courses can be completed within a year, while fast-track courses can be completed in a just a few weeks.

The 2017-18 fiscal year goal for locally controlled revenue is $1.688 million, up from $1.575 million in the fiscal year that ends June 30.

“I was really proud of everybody stepping up, and figuring out ways to bring in more revenue,” Smith said. “We are going to add some additional flex and fast track programs to help bring in a little more tuition revenue.”

Tri County Tech needs to increase locally controlled revenue because state allocations continue to decline. Between fiscal year 2009 and fiscal year 2018, state allocations have dropped approximately $807,000 or 28.8 percent.

The state allocation was $2.49 million in fiscal year 2015-16. It is expected to be $2.26 million in the coming fiscal year.

“For FY 18, we are budgeting for a 4.7 percent cut,” Smith said.

Tri County Tech enrollment is underway. The district expects enrollment to remain the same about 700 students, and expects some enrollment increases in adult programs.

Tri County Tech Superintendent/Chief Executive Officer Lindel Fields said the staff did a good job getting the budget together.

“Our motto is to spend Tri County’s money like its your grandmother’s Social Security and only source of income. I think they did a good job with that. … We are in pretty good shape, but keep in mind that we have 98 employees compared to 118 20 years ago,” Fields said.

The Tri County Tech Board of Education unanimously approved the $16.75 million budget Thursday.

The general fund budget is $12.07 million, and the building fund budget is $4.67 million, Smith said.

The Building Fund earmarks:

• $763,000 for full-time programs and technology improvements

• $932,000 for maintenance and repairs

• $2.02 million for major construction projects — most of which will go toward the continuing renovations of meeting spaces.

The budget includes Tri County Tech’s programs in Pawhuska