Budget, contract with Clarion Inn and Suites, among items discussed by Moffat County College District Board of Control
April 17, 2018
CRAIG — Students attending Colorado Northwestern Community College next year may have the option to live at the Clarion Inn and Suites.
"I was contacted by the Clarion with an offer of working together on housing. It is an exciting proposal, because it will give our students a more traditional college living environment," said Craig Director of Student Support Jennifer Holloway.
Without student housing options the college is only able to attract commuters, and that limits growth.
Once finalized, the agreement will see a wing of the hotel designated for student housing. Students will have access to all hotel facilities, a meal plan and transportation between the hotel and college. It will also place them in close proximity to Trapper Fitness Club, which is particularly beneficial for soccer players.
"Clarion will allow us to use meeting spaces and host events to help create student life," Holloway said.
Ridgeview West Apartments have been rented by CNCC since fall 2013 to provide student housing.
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"The situation at Ridgeview is nice, but the model was upside down, because we had to pay rent over the summer," said CNCC Rangley Vice President of Administration Scott Rust in a Monday presentation to Moffat County Affiliated Junior College District Board of Control.
Units sat vacant for about three months of the year. The proposed contract with the hotel would allow the college to pay for only the housing that is needed when it is needed.
"This plan will save the college money, especially in the summer," Holloway said.
The board learned about plans for student housing during a budget session held prior to the regular meeting of the Board of Control.
During the workshop, Rust presented his recommendations for how the board might allocate a little more than $1.2 million in revenues projected from property taxes in Moffat County.
"It's your budget. I'm just making suggestions," Rust said.
Board members expressed their on-going frustration with not seeing the full CNCC budget and an analysis of programs during the budget process.
"It's difficult not seeing the big picture. We've talked about this problem, and some have compared it to a shell game — you can just move the money around without providing a sense of the impact of the money," said board member Zach Allen.
Rust said he was unable to present the full or global college budget, because the state legislature has yet to set its budget or vote on proposed changes to the state employees retirement plan that could impact CNCC's costs. College tuition rates must also be set.
As a result, "budget approval processes for the entire community college system are expected to be delayed," CNCC President Ron Granger said.
Granger also explained that CNCC lacked the staff needed to deliver detailed programmatic reports to the board for every program.
Board Chair Mike Anson asked, "What would it cost to get another person in Scott's office to get this information out?"
Granger and Rust weren't certain, but agreed to develop additional reports about specific programs for the board's next budget discussion.
Following the workshop, two executive sessions were held to discuss the purchase, acquisition, lease, transfer or sale of any real, personal or other property interest and to conference with an attorney for the public entity for the purposes of receiving legal advice about specific legal questions.
The board’s first action was to amend its agenda to delay decisions about donating property to Memorial Regional Health, proposed by-laws, Trapper Fitness Center and its appraisal.
"We are delaying these decisions to allow more time to receive legal advice," Anson said.
During public comment, representative from the Build a Pool for Craig group asked the board to support the initiative, including providing 10 to 12 acres of land.
"We are 20 people who, in three months, have raised $20,000 in pledges. It's really the 'Build a Recreation Center group.' We wanted to start a conversation, and, in the past, CNCC has had space available," said Dr. Elise Sullivan, on behalf of the group.
The board also:
• Approved the minutes of its March 26 regular meeting and an email meeting April 2, when the board voted to approve a sublease to permit Evonne Crum to continue to hold class and see clients and continue her personal training at the Trapper Fitness Center, as she has done since 2013, through the remainder of the current contract between the center and the MCAJD Board.
• Approved the treasurer's reports for January, February and March after receiving consolidated financial statements.
• The college district board received reports from Vice President of Instruction Michelle Landa, Vice President of Craig Campus/Student Services Janell Oberlander, Granger and Foundation Liaison Terry Carwile. Members learned from Landa that art classes would once again be offered in Craig in the fall as an instructor with a master of fine arts degree had agreed to teach part-time for the college.
• Called for a vote of no-confidence in CNCC President Ron Granger. The motion failed, with two in support and three against.
Contact Sasha Nelson at 970-875-1794 or snelson@CraigDailyPress.com.