CONWAY — Cuts in the state budget last week mean that CCU and HGTC will be getting smaller allocations this fiscal year, but officials at both schools say they’ll be OK without the money.
Because of shortfalls in the amount of revenue the state expected from sales tax revenue, millions had to be cut from the budget, including $200,000 for equipment for the new dental facility at Horry-Georgetown Technical College and $198,000 for equipment on a research vessel being constructed for Coastal Carolina University.
“We’ll work through it,” said Paul Gayes, director of the Burroughs & Chapin Center for Marine and Wetland Studies at CCU.
Gayes said the school hoped to use the money for specialized rigging and permanent housing for the scientific equipment the school uses for things such as geophysical sea mapping and locating fresh and brackish water seeps in the ocean.
Gayes said the school has gotten $4 million in equipment through grants in recent years and is in the process of designing and constructing a new, 48-foot aluminum catamaran that will become its main research vessel. The new vessel will cost about $1 million to build, but it is fully funded, Gayes said.
Gayes said he understands that something had to give because of the revenue shortfall, and now it will take longer to get the equipment the school planned to buy with the state money.
HGTC will take a shorter route to recoup the $200,000 less it will get from the state.
College president Neyle Wilson said the school will buy the needed equipment for the new dental facility using revenue from a local 1-cent sales tax addition for education. The money cannot be used for salaries, but can be spent on capital acquisitions and equipment.
Harold Hawley, the college’s chief financial officer, said no delays or cuts in spending in other areas will be necessary because the additional $200,000 is being taken from the sales tax money.
Contact STEVE JONES at 444-1765.