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IVC loses $1 million in deferred maintenance and instructional funds as a result of Davis budget vetoes

August 08, 2001|by MARIO RENTERÍA, Staff Writer

Imperial Valley College has lost nearly $1 million in deferred maintenance and instructional funds as a result of Gov. Gray Davis' budget vetoes that sliced $98 million from the California Community College System.

A press release from IVC states the cuts were unexpected.

"It was a blindside because no one ever saw it," said IVC President Gilbert Dominguez.

He said the college had been receiving about the same amount of money for 10 years for maintenance and instructional upgrades.

"If they would have said, ‘We're taking the money away,' then we would have found a way to get the money somewhere else, but they never said that," said Dominguez.

The press release states with the cuts, the state's community colleges received state funding increases of only 3.2 percent, compared to nearly 6 percent for kindergarten through high school districts and about 5.7 percent for both the California State University and University of California systems.


"We feel this is extremely unfair and there are indications now that the governor may have been misinformed when he made his veto decision," said Dominguez.

Dominguez said he received an e-mail stating Davis thought the community colleges were getting a larger increase than what was actually given.

He said the governor's staff is investigating the misunderstanding and Davis will decide what to do after the probe.

Officials from the state's 108 community colleges are working to have the funding restored through special legislation.

Rick Webster, IVC's director of maintenance and operations, said, "Unless some funds are replaced, some important projects may have to be postponed."

"While it's nothing that is life-threatening, the budget cuts will cause problems for us," said Webster.

The college was set to upgrade five old oil-filled transformers with more modern types to lessen the danger of power outages at the campus. The project might have to be postponed as a result of the cuts.

The transformers have been in place for 25 years.

"Our students are being affected, whether its air conditioning or transformers. Students don't see it but the money is necessary," said Dominguez.

"If we can't maintain our campus for our students then they are the ones that suffer," he added.

The instructional funds were to be used to upgrade computers.

Dominguez said if the money is recovered, legislation should be passed to guarantee such a situation never happens again.

Staff Writer Mario Rentería can be reached at 337-3435.

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