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CWC testing state reimbursement system

Jan 24, 2013 - By Katie Roenigk, Staff Writer

Central Wyoming College officials already are testing a new state reimbursement system that could become law if legislators approve Senate File 77.

The bill would transfer payment authority for state-funded construction on community college campuses to the construction management division of the Wyoming Department of Administration and Information. Previously, the Wyoming Community College Commission handled reimbursements from the state.

If SF77 is approved, CWC President Jo Anne McFarland said the WCCC still will manage, review, prioritize and approve capital construction budgets and select projects to be considered for state funding.

"They will retain all of those responsibilities," she said last week during a CWC Board of Trustees meeting. "But the construction management division, which currently manages all of our capital construction projects (and) confirms completion of work, will be able to certify completion of work and approve reimbursement without going back to the WCCC."

Ron Granger, CWC's vice president for administrative services, said the school's health and science center is being constructed under the new system, which has been more efficient so far. McFarland agreed that CWC generally favors the change, which should work "very well."

According to the bill, the WCCC would send a list of prioritized community college capital construction projects to the construction management division, which would forward recommendations for construction projects to the state's building commission. Later, the construction management division would distribute state funds for approved and authorized construction projects.

The same system applies for major maintenance budget requests.

A fiscal note outlines additional changes that will be necessary if SF77 is passed. For example, one full-time position would be transferred from the WCCC to the construction management division of the department of administration and information, along with about $108,000 for salary and benefits.

In addition, the WCCC estimates that $13.5 million in unspent capital construction funding a $2.29 million in unspent major maintenance funding would be transferred to the construction management division.

"This bill has administrative impact that appears to increase (or decrease) duties or responsibilities of one or more state agencies," the fiscal note states.

SF77 was received for introduction into the Wyoming Senate on Jan. 8. It was referred to the Senate Education Committee on Jan. 9 and placed on general file last Friday. It was re-referred to the Senate Appropriations Committee that same day.