SAMTB helps slice deficit

By Dana Netzel

Despite gloomy forecasts of a possible $80,000 deficit, the Student Association Mass Transit Board has trimmed the deficit to about $47,000.

The board sliced $35,500 off the projected deficit by combining routes 7 and 9 of the Huskie Bus System and eliminating the use of contracted services.

An exact deficit for the fiscal year 1991 budget has been elusive. On Nov. 6, the board predicted a $36,000 deficit, but at the Nov. 27 meeting, board members planned to recalculate the budget and speculated the deficit would increase by more than $50,000.

“Fortunately, after crunching all the numbers, there will be a $47,000 deficit,” said Cyro Gazola, a mass transit graduate assistant responsible for developing the budget.

Members attributed the deficit to increased fuel prices, a $3,000 maintenance repair bill for the Handivan, increased minimum wage for student workers, a $42,000 decrease in the estimated budget carryover and a projected revenue loss of $35,000 in chargeable credit hours.

A 2.2 to 2.5 percent overestimation in chargeable credit hours by NIU President John LaTourette’s Fee Study Committee contributed to the deficit within SAMTB.

Students now pay $2.42 per credit hour up to 12 semester hours. The fee is likely to increase to $2.98 per hour, Gazola said.

At Monday night’s meeting, the board accepted a proposal to allow a $13,000 carryover for FY91. The fee study committee still must approve the proposal.

The proposal will allow for a 1 percent carryover, when in past years the board has had a 5 to 10 percent carryover, Gazola said.