The Southwestern Michigan College Board of Trustees adopted the college’s 2013-2014 operating budget during its June 17 meeting held on the Dowagiac campus.
The budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1 is a balanced budget of $22,824,000.
Board Chairman Dr. Fred L. Mathews said, “Southwestern Michigan College has adopted a structurally balanced budget each and every year since the college was founded in 1964. I am very proud of the Board of Trustees and the college administration for their unwavering commitment to sound fiscal management, and for identifying creative ways to increase opportunities for students within the constraints of a balanced budget.”
SMC President Dr. David Mathews described the budget development process this year as a “zero-based” budgeting approach.
Significant highlights of the budget approved by trustees include: four new full-time faculty positions in psychology, mathematics, criminal justice, and communications; restructured student services in newly renovated spaces; a major renovation and academic program expansion at the college’s Niles Campus, and increased expenditures on college-wide security.”
The Three Rivers Community Schools Board of Education has adopted the 2013-2014 Preliminary Budget for the new fiscal year beginning July 1.
The action came Monday evening (June 17) following a public hearing during which there were no citizen comments.
The budget projects revenues of $23,781,274 and expenditures of $24, 656,659, thus showing a revenue shortfall of $875,386.
The resolution to adopt the budget also sets various millage levies to support the spending plan:
17.7242 mills for operating purposes on all non-homestead and non-qualified agricultural property
.5 mills for the 2004 debt
.7 mill for the 2007 bond refunding
4.36 mills for the 2008 bond refunding
.54 mills for the 2012 bond refunding.
The total of the debt retirement levies – at 6.1 mills – is down from 6.4 mills last year.
The Chiefs mascot in White Pigeon appears to be safe following a federal decision to dismiss a case in which the use of Native American names and images would be banned in 35 Michigan school districts.
The Michigan Department of Civil Rights had sought the ban, which would have included White Pigeon’s use of Chiefs as the school mascot.
The federal order to drop the case was made based on the opinion that the use of Native American names and images do not cause harm to students in the districts where they are used.
White Pigeon school officials said they were aware of the February complaint. They said the Chiefs mascot is used as a tribute to Chief Wahbememe, and is embraced and respected in a positive manner.
The non-profit, Three Rivers-based organization *culture is not optional (*cino) has completed its purchase of the former Huss Elementary School in Three Rivers.
As noted in a Tuesday (June 11) post on The Huss Project website, “As of today at 3:15 p.m., we signed the final papers and received the deed to the historic Huss School building in Three Rivers, Michigan. Wow!”
The post reports the progress made since the land contract purchase of the property in June of 2009 and the success of “a Brick Campaign to raise $100,000: $50,000 to pay the balloon payment and another $50,000 to renovate a functional room in the building.” It also notes “the incredible support of wonderful people near and far” in helping to meet the first goal of the Brick Campaign.
The Huss Project website says that, “In collaboration with a variety of partners, *cino is working to turn this obsolete property into residential space and a community center emphasizing food, play and the arts.”
A 12-year member of the Sturgis Public Schools Board of Education announced her resignation last week.
LeeAnn McConnell, who did not elaborate on the reason for her resignation, was serving a term due to expire in November 2014.
The board must fill McConnell’s spot within 30 days of her date of resignation. A district resident wishing to complete McConnell’s term may submit a letter of interest through the mail or in person to the superintendent’s office. The deadline is Thursday.
The 2013 Sturgis Relay for Life event begins this afternoon, as cancer survivors and participants walking in memory of a cancer victim will assemble a Sturgis High School’s track.
The event starts at 3 p.m., with a number of special laps planned. At 6 o’clock, cancer survivors will walk a victory lap and a luminaire ceremony starts at 10, when participants reflect on those who lost their cancer battle.
Organizers said 21 teams have committed to the event and have raised more than $27,000 in pledges so far.
A pancake breakfast will be offered 7 to 9 a.m. Saturday. All proceeds benefit the American Cancer Society.