Campus Connection.
          

December 10, 2004 Volume 20, Number 8

No Action On Fiscal Year 2005 Capital Funds

The Illinois General Assembly adjourned its fall veto session without taking action on capital budget appropriations for the 2005 fiscal year for Western and other higher education and state agencies.

While the General Assembly may consider current fiscal year capital fund proposals in January, the lack of new capital dollars midway through the fiscal year further reduces the University’s ability to handle maintenance issues such as roof replacements, elevator upgrades, heating and cooling rehabilitation projects, and other repairs which address health and safety, according to Vice President for Administrative Services Jackie Thompson.

“We all recognize the difficult budgetary situations in the state. However, the longer we delay addressing some of these maintenance items, the more concerned we become about health and safety issues for our students and staff,” said Western President Al Goldfarb.

“Additionally the lack of capital funds results in a further delay of our efforts to start planning for a Performing Arts Center in Macomb and the rehabilitation of the Quad Cities Riverfront Campus. Western has not received funding from the state for a new facility since the opening of the Malpass Library in 1978.”

The funding request for design of a new Performing Arts Center in Macomb totals $4 million and design and planning for the Western Riverfront campus in the Quad Cities is $1.5 million. An additional $1.58 million for capital renewal, infrastructure repair and maintenance projects for the University were also under consideration.

The state also used capital funds to match federal transportation grant funds. The lack of action by the General Assembly on FY05 capital could delay and reduce funding for the City of Macomb transportation system which provides some resources to Western’s Go West bus system. The Go West transportation system is funded predominantly by student fees but also receives federal and state capital grants for equipment and operations.

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Campus Connection is produced by the Office of University Relations at Western Illinois University. It is distributed each Friday when the University is in session and approximately four times during the summer.

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