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VC sets tax rate, reviews UHV role in expansions

ERICA RODRIGUEZ

By ERICA RODRIGUEZ
Aug. 23, 2010 at 3:23 a.m.
Updated Aug. 24, 2010 at 3:24 a.m.


The Victoria College Board of Trustees set its 2011 tax rate and discussed facilities expansions Monday evening.

The board approved the proposed, lower .1531-cent tax rate during its regular meeting.

The current tax rate is .1534 cents, which would generate $79,010 more than budgeted for VC. The proposed lower rate of .1531 cents will generate $65,149 above budget.

VC President Tom Butler warned that although the rate was lower this year, next year, it could increase.

"Even though we've put together a very good budget and we're in good shape, it's going to be a very tough year," he said.

That tough year involves many plans for the college's facilities.

Butler mentioned he will create a memorandum of agreement to go to the University of Houston-Victoria regarding buildings on the UHV campus.

VC will begin a new master plan this fall and hopes to have a completed plan within the next year.

"It was suggested that we coordinate our master plan with their master planning," he said, during a special facilities meeting.

The memorandum will emphasize VC has no need for any additional buildings regardless of future campus plans for UHV.

"There can be no assumption that Victoria College would purchase those buildings or operate them," he said.

Butler said the memorandum will have to be approved later this year.

However, the board hopes to meet with representatives from the UH System to work together on a master plan.

"There's a certain amount of uncertainty in what the future will bring, and the board is very interested in protecting Victoria College," he said.

The board also discussed its $700,000 expansion project in Gonzales.

The project involves building a science classroom and building an entirely new facility with the help of the Gonzales Economic Development Corp.

"We have everything in use," said Larry Garrett, VC executive director of institutional planning and special projects. "We're running out of space."

VC is asking for $400,000 from the Gonzales Economic Development Corp. and plans to secure the remainder through donated services and private donations.

The new building will be used to conduct welding classes, which Butler believes will increase in demand for nearby areas like Lockhart and Luling as construction continues to expand southward in the Austin area.

"We need to be ready now. We don't want to be starting these programs in a couple of years," he said.

In Calhoun County, the district will open new pipefitting classes in the Wilkins High School gym, a Calhoun County school district building.

The building was renovated through donated labor and materials totaling about $60,000 from local corporations, Garrett said.

In Cuero, the Cuero Community Hospital will add a $400,000 modular building alongside its main building for VC nursing students.

The current building was described to be in bad shape.

"We have - for many, many years - been in a really crummy building that just keeps getting crummier," Garrett said. "It's just about unusable."

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