EAU CLAIRE, Wis. -- The Chippewa Valley Technical College District Board gave final approval Thursday, June 25, 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, the college said in a news release Friday.

Voters approved the referendum by a 62 to 38 percent margin. Projects are slated to be completed over three years; however, 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 million to $103.2 million. The proposed property tax levy increases from $21.5 million to $25.3 million. 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.

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No members of the public spoke at the public hearing that preceded the board’s unanimous vote.

The college has five campuses, including one in River Falls.