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The Chippewa Valley Technical College District Board has given final approval to a fiscal year 2020-21 budget that prepares for implementation of the $48.8 million referendum approved at the spring election.

The budget also allows for the expansion of high school academies through use of grant dollars and the start of new programs in graphic design, practical nursing and agriculture technician.

Voters approved the referendum by a 62 to 38 percent margin.

Projects are slated to be completed over three years. But most of the borrowing for the referendum projects will take place during the upcoming budget year.

The operating budget shows reduced expenditures in all funds.

The only increases are in the capital projects and debt service funds, as a result of referendum approval.

That accounts for an overall increase in proposed expenditures from $90.9 to $103.2 million.

The proposed property tax levy increases from $21.5 to $25.3 million.

The annual projected tax rate of $92.20 per $100,000 of equalized property value would increase from the $81.97 rate in 2019.

The yearly increase is less than the $13 per $100,000 of property value projected in the referendum proposal.

“The budget reflects the willingness of the public to invest in the future workforce needs of the region while we continue our efforts to offer programs that meet the needs of employers looking for skilled workers,” CVTC President Bruce Barker said.

The referendum projects this year call for the purchase of property adjacent to the River Falls campus and the start of an automated fabrication lab addition at the Manufacturing Education Center.

Design work on an addition and remodeling of the Emergency Services Education Center, as well as a new Transportation Education Center, will also begin.

The budget was prepared with the realization of the uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The budget does not include any pay increases, which will be reviewed in January based on state budget outcomes, Barker said.

Contact: 715-833-9207,