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Press Release



July 20, 2004

Board discusses college's role in economic development during meeting


Members of Cowley’s Board of Trustees want to be involved in economic development in Cowley County. The level of the college’s participation has yet to be decided.


The Board used about 15 minutes toward the end of Monday’s regular monthly meeting to talk about a modified interlocal cooperation agreement drafted by Cowley County Administrator Leroy Alsup. Dr. Pat McAtee, college president, provided Board members with a copy of Alsup’s draft.


The draft has the college, Cowley County, and the cities of Arkansas City and Winfield as equal partners in the agreement, the purpose of which is to provide a legal foundation for a collaborative countywide economic development program to preserve and enhance the economic and business vitality of Cowley County, including the communities within it.


The Cowley County Commission, which voted in 2001 to withdraw its financial commitment of $60,000 annually to fund the now defunct Cowley County Economic Development Agency, plans to discuss the new agreement during its meeting at 7 p.m. today in the first floor assembly room at the courthouse in Winfield. The college and the cities of Arkansas City and Winfield have asked the county to take the lead in economic development.


College Board members said they needed more detailed information before they could decide on the college’s level of participation in the new agreement.

“We have a real interest in economic development, but we cannot commit any money right now,” Board member Donna Avery said. “And we want to see a more detailed plan.”


“We’re interested. We want to be a player,” Board member Ron Godsey said.

Board member Lee Gregg Jr. said he didn’t want the college to help fund “a director and an administrative assistant only.”


“There has to be enough funds available to really attract new business and industry,” Gregg said. “We have good industries in the county now, but we could use more. It would be nice if our graduates didn’t have to leave the county or the state to find work, that they could stay right here.”


The Board made no decision on the matter Monday night.


In other action, the Board:

  • Moved the August meeting from Aug. 16 to Aug. 9 for the purpose of conducting a public hearing on the 2004-2005 budget.
  • Heard a construction report from Tony Crouch, vice president of business services. The renovation of the lobby of W.S. Scott Auditorium is on schedule. The gymnasium floor has been stripped and a sealer and new graphics will be applied shortly. Conco, Inc. of Wichita began dirt work on the new classroom building last Thursday. The project should be completed by summer 2005. Work in the College Recreation Building is “97 percent done,” Crouch said. “It really looks sharp. If you haven’t had a chance to go down there, do so. It looks a lot different from when we started.” Related to construction, the Board approved two pieces of equipment whose costs exceeded the bid requirements. The Board OK’d a pedicure unit for the Cosmetology program, and a new sound system for W.S. Scott Auditorium.
  • The Board approved renewing the college’s lease agreement on the Wellington Center for $7,200 per year for three years effective Nov. 1, 2004.

Approved the following personnel transactions:

  • Letters of resignation from Greg McCoy, director of aviation programs; Stephanie Smith, head women’s basketball coach; Errol Lowery, assistant women’s basketball coach; and Michelle Ast, director of essential skills.
  • Employment of Pamela Hann as admissions representative, Todd Q. Clark as head women’s basketball coach, Jeff Carter as assistant women’s basketball coach, and Todd Kelley as business instructor.
  • The Board also approved compensation for full-time instructors for teaching summer school for the second four-week session, and approved the funding of all classified positions for the 2004-2005 academic year.

Approved the following Board officers for the 2004-2005 academic year:

  • Chairman, Godsey; vice-chairman, Mark Paton; voting delegate to the Kansas Association of Community College Trustees, Godsey; voting delegate to the Association of Community College Trustees, Avery; representative for professional negotiations, Gregg; trustee designated to open bids received for college purchases, Paton; Board representative to the College Endowment Association, LaDonna Lanning.
  • The Board also approved Libby Palmer as clerk of the Board, Crouch as treasurer of the Board, and David Andreas as Board attorney. McAtee praised Andreas for his counsel.
  • The Board approved the continued use of Home National Bank and Union State Bank as official depositories, the Arkansas City Daily Traveler and Winfield Daily Courier as official publications, and kept the Board meeting time at 6 p.m. on the third Monday of every month, unless noted otherwise.