KEWANEE, Ill. — Black Hawk College may again ask residents to increase the property taxes they pay to the college in 2018.

In a first reading, the tentative tax levy mentioned at Thursday's board of trustees meeting, increases property taxes by 5.82 percent.

Justification for the increase in taxes, according to the college, is a 4.2 percent increase in equalized assessed valuation.

One decision that will affect property taxes was delayed. Citing the need for information, the board postponed approval of an agreement for a valuation of Exelon's Quad-City Generating station for the years 2017 to 2023 until Nov. 16.

Fall tuition revenue fell 10.6 percent, or $646,699 due to decreased enrollment.

Concern was expressed that student recruitment has moved from faculty to the college's marketing department.

Trustee Doug Strand said he knew some faculty recruit heavily, but as a whole they need to do more.

Board chairman Richard Fiems said that as a faculty member, he believed they are doing everything they know to recruit. But, he added a challenge to faculty members.

"It should be a personal mission to bring three people in," he said. "That would go a long way."

President Bettie Truitt said she believed declining enrollment is not the fault of the marketing department, which recently won awards for television ads and for other work in marketing.

"Blame the state of Illinois and budget insecurities," she said.

The state owes the college $3.3 million for this fiscal year and the college hasn't seen any revenue since July, according to Steve Frommelt, vice president of finance.

Truitt also said mid-term numbers will be "a little better" than those from initial fall enrollment, although still down from a year ago.

The college's Labor Management Council reported enrollment losses coming from online classes. the loss of dual credit offerings to Western Illinois University and students attending the University of Wisconsin at Platteville.

On Nov. 16, the college is interviewing three groups to find a consultant for the replacement of Truitt, who is retiring.

Fiems announced the state is again considering allowing a bachelor of science in nursing program that the community college could offer.

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