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WC proposes tax rate, approves RIF

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The Weatherford College Board of Trustees approved the proposal of the 2020 ad valorem tax rate and a reduction in force (RIF) in their regular monthly meeting Thursday afternoon.

After reducing the tax rate for the past three years, this year’s recommended property tax rate of 12.535816 cents per $100 valuation is about a penny higher than the 2019-20 rate of 11.495. The 2020 state average is 18.370 cents.

A public hearing on the tax rate will be held Monday, Aug. 24, at noon in the Allene Strain Community Room of the Doss Student Center.

The $63.49 million budget for the fiscal year 2020-21 is an increase of $144,917 from the previous year’s amended budget.

A meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 1, at 2 p.m. in the Strain Room located in the Doss Student Center to take action on the 2020-21 tax rate and budget.

Following an executive session, the board voted unanimously “to adjust the college workforce necessitated by current disruptions in enrollment and revenues to achieve a reduction in force in accordance with all relevant published Weatherford College policies.”

The RIF will result in more than $750,000 in labor cost savings in the upcoming fiscal year. Affected employees will be notified in the coming days and will be offered severance packages based on their years of service. 

In other business, the board:

  • Approved the minutes from the July 11 board meeting.
  • Approved the July financial reports.
  • Approved sealed bids for color and web printing services.
  • Approved sealed proposals for videography and production services.
  • Approved sealed bids for food service products and supplies.
  • Approved a local policy establishing future board meeting dates and times for the next fiscal year.
  • Approved a Texas Association of School Boards policy update.
  • Received reports on Guided Pathways, the demand student and the vet tech program.

In his president’s report, Dr. Tod Allen Farmer:

  • Congratulated the City of Weatherford on the new WC roundabout being selected as the American Public Works Association Texas Project of the Year.
  • Congratulated WC team members Shantee Siebuhr and Neda Benitez for recently earning their master’s degrees from Tarleton State University.
  • Congratulated Athletic Director Bob McKinley, all WC coaches and the 18 student athletes who were recently awarded all-academic honors from the National Junior College Athletic Association.
  • Congratulated former Coyote Tejay Antone for his recent selection to the Cincinnati Reds major league baseball team.
  • Provided the annual testing report.
  • Announced the resignation of lab specialist Janis Gentry.
  • Provided an enrollment update. With 954 students, Summer II saw an increase of 59 students and a 20% increase in contact hours. With 11 days remaining before the start of the Fall semester, 4,570 students are enrolled, a year-to-date decrease of 459 students. Due to COVID-19 delays in the registration of dual credit students, enrollment is currently down, but the gap is closing, Farmer said.

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