Larry Ross, vice president for finance and facilities as well as controller for Lehigh Carbon Community College paid a visit to the Board of Education of the Jim Thorpe Area School district Monday evening to answer any questions they might have on the institution's 2010-2011 budget. Jim Thorpe, like all of the other school districts in the county, supports the school by providing funds for both its operating and capital budgets.

Overall, LCCC's budget will increase by 2.9 percent next year, Ross said, much of that coming from salaries and benefits that are fixed by contract. In addition, the school has seen its utilities bills from PP&L rise by 30 percent since the beginning of the year and that was impacting the budget. Health care was also a major item in the budget and cause of the increase, with the expenditure rising 10 percent next year.

In all, the impact on Jim Thorpe would be an increase of $17,000 over last year's budget.

The community college operates on an annual budget of $42.8 million. Support comes from many sources, including the five school districts in Carbon and Lehigh Counties, which together provide about $6.3 million for LCCC's budget.

School districts support the college based on a formula that takes into account fall enrollment averages over five years for the operating budget and the market value in the district for the capital budget.

The 2010-2011 budget calls for $137,260 from Jim Thorpe for the operating budget and $135,638 for the capital budget.

The board voted to approve the budget at it's meeting on Monday night.