AUBURN | Budget woes continue to increase at Cayuga Community College after its Board of Trustees approved a resolution Wednesday officially declaring a state of financial exigency at the school.
In an 8-1 vote, with John Camardo being the lone trustee in opposition, the board agreed to the resolution stating that the state of financial exigency will remain in effect until the trustees believe that the college's budget has been balanced.
This declaration means that the college is recognizing the urgency to fix its current financial situation that has suffered in recent months due to declining student enrollment.
The resolution states that the college will agree to take all necessary measures to put its revenue in line with its expenditures, which could include layoffs or salary cuts, as nearly 80 percent of the school's budget is made up of staff costs.
As trustee Stan Kott read the resolution to the board, he explained that because CCC's spending exceeded its revenues for the 2012-13 fiscal year, its fund balance has dropped below the 5 percent required by New York state guidelines. The resolution agrees to keep the state of exigency in place until the school's fund balances have been restored to "sound footing."
"We've worked through a long, hard process to try and balance this budget and we've done about everything possible," said CCC President Daniel Larson. "Given where we are right now, I think this is necessary."
In May, CCC announced that it had closed nearly $1 million of a $1.5 million budget shortfall for 2012-13 but still had about $567,000 to cut before the end of current fiscal year on Aug. 31.
After the college asked its employees to take furloughs to help close the remaining deficit, three of the four unions at CCC were able to reach agreements with the school. The fourth, the Faculty Association, was never able to settle on a resolution and could face layoffs if one is not reached by Aug. 31.
Larson said that the bargaining efforts have been helpful toward closing the college's budget gap, but also said that there has been no contact with the Faculty Association since the last proposal was not agreed upon earlier this year. Although negotiations have gone cold recently, Larson said that the school is still open to conversations with the Faculty Association.
"There's still the possibility for discussions to resume and the college is willing to entertain that," he said, "but so far, there's been nothing."