The proposed 2012/13 Budget was presented and tabled at University Students’ Council on Thursday, March 15. This budget will go to vote at USC next Thursday, March 22. For those students who missed the presentation at USC but are still interested in its contents here is a summary of the areas of significance. There are two portions of the budget. There is a Capital Budget and an Operating Budget, and I will begin by explain the major points of the capital budget.
The Capital Budget for 2012/13 is earmarked for $437,755 in spending. This is well above the $182,352 that was budgeted for last year. The reason for this increase is in large part due to the Louis’ renovation that was approved last year and is slated to take place in May this year. This renovation is aesthetic in nature and will feature new tabletops and chair, new light, flooring and paint. Most notably this renovation will feature the removal of the “pit” or “box” in order to open up the floor area for general seating and for a large floor for concerts. As this was approved last year it in not a item that requires approval in this budget, yet it is still required to be included in the capital costs for this next year as this is when the expenses will be incurred.
The other significant project that is being proposed and is something that will need to be approved with this year’s budget is a renovation to Browsers. The goal of this renovation is to maximize the uses of the large space that we have on the second floor of the MUB. What this renovation aims to create is a flexible space that can be a coffee shop by day and be a special events venue by night. This redesigned space would also include expanded liquor offerings for students.
This project would include a relocation of XL Print & Design from its current location in Browsers to room 103 in the MUB giving it its own space. Flooring, lighting, plumbing and additional furniture will each be portions of this project. The vision of this project is to add a space that will compliment the existing special events space that Louis’ currently has, while maintaining what we currently have in Browsers in terms of product offers and atmosphere. This new space would be able to hold events such as club events, weddings, Christmas parties and others with a size of about 100-150 people. I am confident that this will be a great space that will receive a significant amount of usage from a wide variety of groups.
The second portion of the budget is the operations side and is scheduled for a deficit of $193,233, which is significantly less than the $419,678 deficit in last years budget. A vast majority of this deficit is due to our depreciation expense that we must account for. However, this has no cash expense attached to it so our cash position for next year is looking fairly strong. There is not much new in the operations side of things this year for the USSU as it is more of a stead as she goes budget, although there are a few areas of significance for students to take note of.
The first area of significance is a proposed price increase to Copy Central from $0.10/copy to $0.15/copy. This was a decision that was made in response to the ever-growing deficit that it costs to run this service. The amount of copies that students make each year has follow by more than half since 2008. This is due to the way technology being used in the classroom and less of a need to make paper copies rather than scanning something. The deficit to run Copy Central was scheduled to be over $40,000, but with a price increase the cost to run this service would drop to roughly $29,274. The Budget and Finance Committee felt this was a more reasonable deficit number for running this service.
The next area of significance is the strong revenue that our facilities are anticipating to be generating next year. With all of the rental revenue included we are expecting to collect just shy of $950,000. This clearly demonstrates that the investment students made in renovating and expanding Place Riel is already paying dividends.
If students have any questions, thoughts, comments or concerns they are more than welcome to come and meet with me in between now and Thursday evening when the budget will go to a vote for approval. Students are also welcome to attend University Students’ Council meetings and voice their opinions there.