Budget Feedback

Ideas and Opportunities for Reducing Expenses

  • 6 June 2016
  • Author: Brian Van Pelt
  • Number of views: 2039
  • 12 Comments
Please share your questions, thoughts and ideas on opportunities for reducing expenses at CR. You must login in order to post a comment.
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12 comments on article "Ideas and Opportunities for Reducing Expenses"

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Waters, Ron

6/21/2016 2:43 PM

Get 2-3 pool cars, cars that get 30+ mpg, that can be checked out for trips to Del Norte or KT, rather than using rentals. Good used cars are out there for $10K and under. They would pay for themselves very quickly. The vans are fine if transporting many people or large amounts of supplies. Otherwise, a small car would save money. Fill up before leaving Eureka at the Maintenance pumps and fill up again upon return. At 30mpg, cost for gas would be about $25 for the entire trip. Maintenance can be done by campus mechanic. May also want to consider one car for CRDN.


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Snow-Flamer, Keith

6/22/2016 1:30 PM

Hi Ron,

I'll follow-up on this idea with Cabinet.


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Snow-Flamer, Keith

6/23/2016 2:12 PM

Hey Ron: Your idea is a good one. We'd like to take a look at the usage of our current vans before deciding on adding cars to our fleet.


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Cox, Catherine

7/5/2016 6:04 PM

Federal Clean Renewable Energy Bonds are available to help public agencies finance projects such as solar power generation. While CR isn't in the "sun belt", we still get enough sunlight to make solar power a feasible source of a significant percentage of our energy. Has anyone investigated these bonds and the possibility of installing solar panels on buildings such as Student Services/Admin, the LRC, the Theater, etc.?

Another possibility - but one that would cost us more in the short term to install - is constructing carports to shade a portion of the parking lot and placing solar panels on the roof of the carports. While the initial cost might be more than we can afford right now, it may be worth considering as a long-term option; my previous college saved over $400,000 (ongoing) per year in energy costs in this way.


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Lindsey, Lee

7/14/2016 5:24 PM

The Federal Clean Renewable Energy Bonds (CREBS) program is a loan, not a grant. CR would have to pay back funds borrowed from electricity cost savings, and such savings cannot be guaranteed. If the electricity savings aren't enough, then the District would be forced to use general fund to make payments.

A representative from Solar City did a detailed inspection of our Eureka location and met with Maintenance staff and me. Here were the take aways: Our sun exposure is marginal due to fog, clouds, and a general coastal climate. Also, the college is located on the side of a hill with large trees occluding the sun for part of the day. The least cost solar installation is on the ground on clear, flat land. We don't have that, so we would need to go to the more costly rooftop or parking lot installation. Our existing power lines and main power feeders are located far away from the best spots for solar panel installs, which would result in expensive new copper wiring having to be strung to interconnect the solar system into our very old electrical system.

We tasked Solar City to see if they could come up with a project where they would install the solar panels and sell electricity to CR at a set rate. They replied that they could not make the project cash flow. I am reticent to continue to pursue this idea for fear that someone will come forward and make promises that cannot be realized, and then CR will be left with the general fund having to subsidize a costly solar project. Other colleges have done successful solar installs, so I am open to this idea, but am also looking for a deal that cash flows and stands alone on its financial merits.


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Darling, Dawson

7/19/2016 8:31 PM

As part of a class on solar panel installation, I recall we ended up actually installing panels on the building near the Ag. Greenhouse. Do we still do that? And if not, starting that back up might be a way to incrementally our solar year by year. One of the fortunate things about solar is it doesn't have to be a big project done all at once.


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Snow-Flamer, Keith

7/24/2016 3:57 PM

I will follow-up with the Business Office on your idea.


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Clark, Karyn

9/22/2016 12:01 PM

I have concerns about the following line item in the BPC report that Kintay Johnson sent out on 09/14/16.

"Admin Services Business Office Document imaging system integration with Business Office processes such as Accounts Payable, Purchasing, and Accounts Receivable. 85000 Referred to VP/Division Partial, laser printing only "

I have to wonder why we would be possibly spending $85,000 for software that does something that we already have: Doc-e-Scan. Enrollment Services and Counseling already use the software and the Business Office could use it for the purposes stated in the Program Review.


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Roper, Steven

9/22/2016 1:36 PM

If we turn off our Boilers after classes end on Friday's and do not turn them back on until very early Monday morning, we should see some savings on both our gas and electric bill.


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Roper, Steven

9/22/2016 1:39 PM

I have seen other universities provide a summer session as a concentrated offering. If we could do that, we could then shut down the A/C in some buildings during our Peak Pricing times when we pay our highest rates for electricity.


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Cox, Catherine

9/22/2016 6:09 PM

Two separate but related ideas:

1. In summer, shut down student services to a four-day workweek for June/July (or mid-June to mid-August). Staff would have the option of either working four ten-hour days (Mon-Thurs) OR working eight hours and using a vacation day to make up the difference. This allows the power, boilers, AC, etc. to be turned off for three days each week for most of the campus.

2. Many colleges schedule a break in their course offerings between the end of summer classes and the beginning of Fall - typically three or four weeks, so that Summer courses end around the end of July or beginning of August and then Fall courses begin around three weeks later. Computer labs, classrooms, and the library are not in use during this time, so IT and facilities staff have time to do projects that can't be done during instructional sessions - updating labs, repairs, etc. - WITHOUT spending a fortune on overtime to come in nights or weekends.


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Tucker, Barry

9/28/2016 1:50 PM

In the idea of reducing cost. The dorms has one dumpster for everything and it is often overflowing. Could we get a separate dumpster for cardboard/recyclables to parch out recyclables from our disposal cost. It may also be possible to separate out biomass (food stuff) that may be useful for CR farm or Agriculture program.

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