The Garden City Community College Board of Trustees unanimously approved its 2019-20 budget Tuesday with a slightly lowered mill levy.
The mill levy is set at 20.386, a decrease from this year's rate of 20.992. Under the approved budget, an owner of a $150,000 home would pay the college approximately $351.66 in property taxes.
During the public budget hearing, Shawnee attorney Jean Lamfers, whose clients sued the college earlier this year, asked the board about elements of the budget, including coaches and administrators taking advantage of GCCC housing formerly used for students. The college's housing has been below capacity this and last year.
Ruda said after the hearing that the college does allow employees to live in GCCC apartments — generally during transition periods, but also for extended use. The apartments are made available for $750 a month and budgeted in the auxiliary budget, he said. He said he would meet with Lamfers to talk about the budget.
After an executive session, the third of three that night, the GCCC board authorized up to $100,000 of additional funding to cover anticipated costs for the external investigation into the death of Braeden Bradforth. The college retained investigator Rod Walters and Lewis Brisbois attorneys Randy J. Aliment and Jordan Ford in June to perform the investigation, capping costs at $100,000. The additional authorization doubles that original amount.
Near the end of the meeting, board members discussed possible parameters for a revised public comments portion of the meetings, which would allow employees and members of the public to address the board for five minutes about certain topics. Topics related to employees or the departments they direct should go to those employees or their supervisors and some concerns would be better suited for emails with board members, said board chairman Blake Wasinger. He said the public comments portion should be used to address topics the board has control over.
The proposed parameters will be sent to the board's attorney, Randy Grisell, and reviewed at the next meeting in September.