Council Approves FCC’s FY 2018 Budget

Also given the okay was a bond to help pay for expanding St. John’s Catholic Prep.



Frederick, Md (KM) Some tuition and fee increases are contained in the fiscal year 2018 budget for Frederick Community College. The spending plan totaling $52.7-million was adopted Tuesday night by the County Council. “We’d like to thank the County Executive, her staff,and, of course, you, the County Council, for providing additional funding to FCC this year for our operating budget,” said FCC President Libby Burmaster.

The budget is $1.5-million or 3.01% over the fiscal year 2017 budget.

Burmaster says the budget does contain a tuition increase. “This fiscally responsible budget, which meets our goal of keeping FCC affordable for students, contains a modest increase in tuition and fees of only $1 per credit for in county residents, which represents a .84% increase,” she says.

There is also an increase in the consolidated service fee from $22.88 per credit to $24  per credit, and a increase in the student activity fee from $2.24 per credit to $3.24 per credit. “So overall for a student whose taking 12 credits per semester, tuition and fees will increase in total by only $35 beginning in the fall semester,” says Burmaster.

The Council also adopted the Auxiliary Enterprise Budget which covers the Bookstore, Carl and Normal Miller Children’s Center and the Dining Service. FCC’s Capital Improvements Program budget was also approved by the Council

In other business, the Council also agreed to issue “economic development revenue bonds” not to exceed $10,500,000. Finance Director Lori Depies says the proceeds form the bonds will be used by St. John’s Catholic Preparatory School for its expansion.

Depies says the money will be used to finance and refinance the acquisition and expansion of the school’s facility on Buckeystown Pike. The property consists of a 45-acre plot at 4055 Buckeystown pike, as well as a 20-acre site at 3989 Buckeystown Pike. It also contains a classroom building of about 40,000 square feet.

She says the school plans to expand. “The plan’s improvements include the build out of a wing to add eight classrooms, classroom upgrades, the expansion of the cafeteria, the reconfiguration of office space, {and} the addition of locker and changing rooms,” says Depies.  There are also plans to renovate the gymnasium.

There are other plans as well. “There are renovations and upgrades to the athletic facilities that are planned, including bleacher seating for approximately 800, an incorporate press box that measures about 192-square feet, a turf field and a concession stand with fencing,” says Depies.

She also says the county incurs no risk in issuing these bonds. “There is no cost to the county to issue these economic development bonds. Maryland law clearly states the county has no obligation to pay the bonds off. The charity will pay all of the county’s out-of-pocket expenses, they’ll indemnify the county for all future costs, and they will pay the county an annual administrative fee,” Depies says.

The County has issued “economic development revenues bonds.” in the past  to assist other non-profit organizations, such as the Homewood Retirement Centers, Buckingham’s Choice, Hood College and Mount Saint Mary’s University.

It was a public hearing, and only Tom Powell, the President of Saint John’s Catholic Prep testified. “Less is more so please vote of us,” he said.

The Council also held a hearing on an amended bill dealing with when the board can consider certain zoning map amendments during election years. The measure says the Council cannot consider these matters beginning on July 1st of an election year,  and  until the day after Council Members take office. It originally stated that the Council could not consider zoning amendments six months prior to a general election, and three-months after the election.

No on testified on this legislation. The Council is expected to take a vote on this bill at a later date.


By Kevin McManus