The Parkland College Blog

Trustees Approve 2018 Tax Levy, Project Drop in Tax Rate

Levy increased to capture revenue from increasing property values

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At its November meeting, the Parkland College Board of Trustees approved the 2018 property tax levy, heard a quarterly report from the Parkland College Foundation, and swore in its newest police officer.

Trustees approved an increase to the school's property tax levy Wednesday night that will allow the college to capture additional tax revenue generated by an increase in the equalized assessed value (EAV) within the district. Officials assured the board and community that, based on the projections, district homeowners and businesses should still see an overall decrease in the college's tax rate on next year's bill. 

Chief Financial Officer Chris Randles shared that a recent survey of counties' EAV indicates an aggregate EAV increase of 4.52 percent over last year. For homeowners, the projected rate would decrease from $.54 to $.53 per hundred dollars of equalized assessed valuation.

After holding a public hearing on the issue during the meeting, trustees voted unanimously to make the $32 million levy request for 2018, an 11.84 percent increase over its 2017 tax levy extension in order to tax at the maximum operating tax rates with increases to the EAV of up to approximately 14 percent. Tax revenue to the college will be based on the actual extension, which will take place in the spring. 

Board members heard a report from Parkland College Foundation Executive Director Tracy Wahlfeldt that indicated more than $200,000 in scholarships had been awarded for the fall 2018 semester. Wahlfeldt shared that foundation funds have been used to make significant upgrades recently to the Staerkel Planetarium, the Harold and Jean Miner Theatre, and the Tony Noel Agricultural Technology Applications Center. 

Trustees also approved the school's FY2018 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) audit, including the Schedule for Federal Awards, Internal Control, and Compliance reports. The report presented the college with an unqualified "clean" opinion of its FY 2018 financial statements, the best type to receive from independent review. 

During the meeting, the board swore in Somphon "Sam" Penland as a peace officer for the Parkland College Public Safety Department. Penland, a resident of Champaign, is a 9-1/2-year veteran of the Joliet Police Department. She worked previously as a telecommunicator and security guard at Parkland College.
 
In other business Wednesday, trustees approved the following:

  • the Parkland College 2020-2021 academic calendar, which had been approved by the school's faculty-staff senate and college council. Registration and payment deadlines for instructional sessions within each semester will be published in the class schedule and online at the college website,parkland.edu, and the student and employee portal, my.parkland.edu.

  • the Board of Trustees' 2019 monthly meeting dates. Trustee meetings will be held at 7 p.m. in Room U325 on the Parkland campus unless otherwise announced; meeting dates will be available on the college's website.

  • renewal of the pricing agreement with global cloud software company Desire2Learn. D2L's Brightspace Learning Environment (branded at Parkland College as "Cobra Learning") is the learning management system students and instructors use for online, hybrid, and face-to-face course communication. The current pricing agreement expires June 30, 2019. 

  • personnel appointments:

    • David Ford, Certified Flight Instructor, Institute of Aviation

    • Joseph Leinweber, Certified Flight Instructor, Institute of Aviation

    • John L. Maxwell, Groundskeeper, Physical Plant

    • David Farmer, Groundskeeper, Physical Plant

    • Jerow Scheel, Police Officer, Public Safety

Parkland College Shows "Clean" Fiscal Health in Audit

Trustees receive external audit, fall enrollment, tax savings reports

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Parkland College's financial fitness has again received top marks in the school's external audit. 

On Wednesday, Parkland College's Board of Trustees officially accepted the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) from Martin Hood, LLC. The report presents the college with an unqualified "clean" opinion of its FY 2018 financial statements, the best type to receive from independent review. The audit highlights the college's exemplary fiscal management and includes reports on Parkland's schedule of expenditures of federal awards and its internal control over financial reporting and compliance.

Also at their regular meeting, the trustees heard reports on fall enrollment and on the tax savings homeowners will receive due to bond refinancing.
 
The board received the fall enrollment update from Dean of Enrollment Management Kristin Smigielski. Smigielski noted the number of high school students taking advantage of Parkland courses continues to increase, with a 21.61 percent increase in early college enrollment through dual credit, Early College and Career Academy (ECCA), and the new Early Transfer Academy (ETA). While fall 2018 headcount decreased by 1.19 percent, the college's enrollment decline overall has slowed and diversity of the student population continues to increase. 

Chief Financial Officer Christopher Randles also reminded trustees that the college has completed its bond refinancing, and the result will be a projected 2.18 percent decrease in the college's taxpayer burden. The college will also set the levy for tax year 2018 in November. 

The Trustees also approved a program-specific reduction-in-force of a full-time faculty member effective in academic year 2019-2020. 

In other business Wednesday, trustees approved the following:

  • the purchase of white paper from Veritiv Operating Co. of Morton, Ill., for $24,480
  • emergency expense for the D-wing elevator for Kone, Inc. of Peoria, $54,138
  • new boiler system for the Child Development Center from Reliable Mechanical Co. of Champaign, $45,340
  • purchase of Kaplan Test Prep's Integrated Testing Program and NCLEX-RN Review Course for its Practical Nursing program, up to $23,850 
  • personnel appointments:
    • Krystal Garrett, Assistant to the President and the Board of Trustees; Garrett will fill the position vacated by Nancy Willamon on Feb. 1, 2019.
    • Beth Burdette, Purchasing Agent, Business Office
    • J. Maurine Sterrett, Financial Aid Assistant, Financial Aid and Veteran Services
    • Melanie Whited, Academic Success Coach-Student Engagement Specialist, Center for Academic Success
    • Somphon Penland, Police Officer, Public Safety

Trustees Approve Budget, Hire New AD, Refinance Bond Debt

Greater tax savings after successful Series 2018 refunding bond sale

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The Parkland College Board of Trustees approved its FY 2019 budget and hired a new athletic director Wednesday, as well as announced a successful refinancing of its bond debt at a greater savings to taxpayers than originally estimated.
 
The board adopted the fiscal year 2019 budget, which includes a $333,191 operating surplus. Chief Financial Officer Chris Randles first presented the tentative budget in July, and the budget was on display for public review and input starting Aug. 1.

Parkland College officials also named Brendan McHale as the school's next director of athletics, overseeing its eight Cobras sports teams. 

A Parkland College Athletic Hall of Fame Class of 2009 inductee, McHale brings two decades of administrative experience at Carle Foundation Hospital Orthopedics and Sports Medicine in Champaign. He was Parkland College's head athletic trainer from 1992 to 2006 before moving to Carle. McHale replaces Rod Lovett, who retired this past summer after serving as AD since 2000. 
 
The board also voted to appoint Erin Shannon, a Champaign native, as the college's new director of marketing and public relations effective Oct. 4. Shannon has most recently served as the marketing manager for the City of Bloomington, Ill. parks, recreation, and cultural arts department. 

Also during the meeting, the board moved to expend the remaining bond funds and interest it still controls after having successfully refinanced its 2009–2010 series bond debt last month. The bond refinancing reduces the district’s tax burden by a greater margin than projected.
 
Working with PMA Securities, Parkland College sold approximately $53 million of outstanding bond debt in the US municipal market from Aug. 14 to Aug. 29 with the sale of its Series 2018A, B and C refunding bonds. District 505 taxpayers should see a savings of $6.2 million over the decade on debt payments.
 
The college will use $300,000 of the remaining 2008-2009 series bond funds to replace aging flight simulators, with another $1 million to develop the Midwest Center for Precision Agriculture. The funds will also help create a high-fidelity simulation lab, with four new simulation bays and a simulated ambulance, for the Parkland College Health Professions programs.
 
The trustees also considered the findings of a campus-wide committee and a recommendation from the president regarding a program-specific reduction in force, with no action taken. 

In other business, trustees approved the following:

  • Protection, Health and Safety (PHS) projects in the FY2019 capital plan, including:
    • Campus Walkway/Parking Lot Improvement-South B Wing, $1.4 million
    • Exterior Repairs/Improvements, $500,000
    • Campus Energy Savings Improvements, $200,000
  • a five-year contract for waste hauling services with Area Disposal Services of Peoria, Ill., beginning January 1, 2019. The contract, a result of collaboration between the college’s Sustainable Campus Committee and Physical Plant, aims to reduce the amount of waste refuse going to the landfill and increase the amount of materials acceptable for recycling. Parkland expects the move to save the college about $30,000 per year, reducing/recycling costs by about 54 percent.
  • an increase in some of the daily fees at the Child Development Center (CDC), effective Oct. 1, to ensure sustainability of the center. The proposed tier increases are comparable to other childcare center rates in Champaign-Urbana.
  • proposal by Conference Technologies, Inc., of East Peoria, Ill., to replace the sound system in the Harold and Jean Miner Theatre, at $161,981.
  • proposal of Environmental Control Solutions, Inc., of Springfield, Ill., to install a Building Automation Control system in several of the larger campus wings and the chiller plant, at $134,072.67.
  • disposal of four Glock pistols as surplus property of the Public Safety department, which no longer needs them.

Board of Trustees Nominating Petitions Available Soon

Terms of three incumbent trustees will expire April 2019

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Parkland College officials announced today that any interested persons wishing to run for a position on the Parkland Board of Trustees may pick up nominating petitions and related documents from Nancy Willamon in Room U336 at the Parkland College campus, 2400 W. Bradley Ave., Champaign, Illinois, during regular business hours beginning August 27, 2018, at 9 a.m.

Petitions may NOT be circulated prior to Sept. 18, 2018.

The term of incumbent trustee James Ayers, Bianca Truitt Green and Jonathan Westfield will expire in April 2019. These board openings will be for a six-year term on the ballot and said seats will expire in April 2025.

Nominating petitions and supporting documents must be filed between the hours of 8 a.m. and noon and 1 and 5 p.m. Central Time on any of the following dates: December 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, or 17, 2018. Said documentsMUST be filed with the Office of the Board Secretary, Nancy Willamon, Room U336, Parkland College, 2400 W. Bradley Ave., Champaign, Illinois.

The election will be held on April 2, 2019.

Trustees Refinance Bond Debt, Review Enrollment

Refinancing could save taxpayers $5.4 million over decade

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Parkland College District 505 taxpayers could save approximately $5.4 million over the next 10 years on debt payments following a measure taken by the college to refinance existing bonds issued to build the Student Union and make campus improvements.   
 
At its regular meeting Wednesday, Parkland's Board of Trustees approved a proposal from PMA Securities to move forward with a negotiated sale of up to $53.25 million in bonds at lower interest rates, potentially reducing the college's total tax burden by approximately 1.8 percent.
 
For the typical homeowner, this will translate to a savings of $3.33 per year per $100,000 of market value. Chief Financial Officer Chris Randles stressed the importance of taking advantage of current market conditions to benefit the community.
 
"While the college is not required to refinance, we are pleased to be able to reduce the tax burden on property owners in our district where we can," Randles said. "As stewards of public dollars, it will be well worth the work our team will put in to make it happen."
 
The board also received a spring enrollment update from the college's new dean of enrollment management, Kristin Smigielski. Smigielski shared that Parkland's spring 2018 enrollment was flat compared to spring enrollment the previous year, a welcome leveling off amidst national community college enrollment declines of 2 percent for the same term. Notably, dual credit enrollment from local high school students increased by approximately 23 percent from 2017 to 2018.
 
The Trustees also heard report on the Broadlands Wind Farm project, with no action taken.
 
In other business, trustees approved the following:

  • Hendrick Dorms, Inc. of Urbana as the new food service provider for Parkland College beginning Aug. 1, under a five-year contract. The contract allows Hendrick Dorms to operate on campus with no revenue sharing for the first school year and negotiated revenue sharing in subsequent years. Parkland College will provide the food serving and preparation areas to Hendrick Dorms at no cost. Hendrick Dorms is replacing Chartwell's Dining Services, which decided not to renew its food service contract with the college.

  • the Amendment to Lease Agreement that will extend the Champaign County Regional Planning Commission's lease in the Illinois Worknet Center at Parkland on Mattis through June 30, 2023. The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity provides funding through the CCRPC to help adults, dislocated workers, and youth within the region obtain career training in high-growth, in-demand industries.

  • $48,000 in engine repair services from Poplar Grove Airmotive, Inc., Poplar Grove, Ill.

  • the employment contract of Tracy Wahlfeldt as executive director of the Parkland College Foundation, effective June 26, 2018, through June 30, 2021.

  • personnel appointments:

    • Brook Van Gundy, Certified Flight Instructor, Institute of Aviation

    • Judith Somers, Nursing Tenure-Track Faculty, Health Professions

    • Joseph Jessee, Groundskeeper, Physical Plant

    • Marvin Palmer, Custodian, Physical Plant

    • John Strack, Carpenter, Physical Plant

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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