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NCI to get added funds

Sunday, June 15, 2014

By GINNY WRAY - Bulletin Staff Writer

The New College Institute is slated to receive more than half a million dollars above its base appropriation under the state budget approved by the General Assembly on Thursday.

NCI’s base appropriation of $1.5 million for operations is unchanged from previous years, according to NCI Executive Director William Wampler.

The institute is expected to get an additional appropriation of $540,000, he said. That includes $440,037 for operations, including NCI’s new building, he added.

Under previous budget plans, the House proposal contained an extra $290,000 for new employees, and the Senate proposal included $289,098. That was in addition to the $1.5 million and $440,037.

The new positions, Wampler and State Sen. Bill Stanley said in February, included a facilities manager, marketing/communications officer, events coordinator, advanced manufacturing equipment supervisor and security supervisor.

Stanley said Friday that he wanted to find a way to restore all the money proposed to NCI at a later date, adding that “I hated to see that cut at all.”

On Friday, Wampler was traveling and said he needed to read the language of the latest budget bill to see what authority NCI will have on spending for new positions.

However, he said, the funds will allow NCI to cover most operations of the institute and new building.

Wampler noted that one version of the budget removed additional funds for NCI and all state agencies. Another version gave NCI an additional $720,000, he said.

“There always have been floating numbers,” he added.

“NCI is very fortunate to have an increased appropriation and in the amount of over half a million dollars,” Wampler said. “We’re very grateful.”

He added: “We’re very thankful to our legislative delegation for going to bat for us.”

Funding for state localities was held to current levels, according to a news release from Stanley.

However, he stated, the budget includes reductions in hospital subsidies as well as other cuts. The release did not elaborate.

Piedmont Arts receives state funding through the Virginia Commission for the Arts, according to PAA Executive Director Kathy Rogers. She said Friday that she had not heard of any funding changes in store for the arts association.

“It’s a relief,” she said, of having a state budget approved by the General Assembly.

Rogers formerly served on the Henry County School Board, and she noted that agencies such as that and others were in limbo in crafting their budgets without a state spending plan in place.

“I hope they reach a compromise on the Medicaid (expansion) issue in future, but we needed to have a budget passed,” she said.

Virginia Museum of Natural History Executive Director Joe Keiper said Friday he had not heard how the new budget would impact the museum.


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