The Physical Plant Department (PPD) is not “100% general-fund” funded meaning that a variety of sources and multiple budgets are used to cover the total campus costs of facilities repair and maintenance. PPD performs routine, preventative and corrective maintenance, but also provides departmental-request services and in turn charges departments for certain services through the FAMIS Work Order management system. PPD uses a “flat rate” for charging labor costs to work orders. The flat rate is calculated annually as the average hourly wage (inclusive of fringe and benefit) for the hourly/non-exempt employees within the department.
Physical Plant O&M Funding
PPD receives general operating funds for Operations & Maintenance (O&M). A fraction is set aside each year for Plant Improvements and another small portion is used to cover scheduled replacement of vehicles such as vans, plow trucks and heavy equipment as well as major equipment upgrades, technology and tool upgrades. The balance of operating funds come through Auxiliary Units such as Residential Life and the Davis Center and from interdepartmental charges to campus units.
Deferred Maintenance Funding
Deferred maintenance (DM) is defined as “major maintenance projects that are unfunded in operating budgets, and deferred or postponed to future budget cycles or until funds become available.” DM often results in conditions that, if not attended to now, will become even more costly to remedy in the future. The University's deferred maintenance "backlog" is incrementally tackled through incremental funding. Most of this comes from a modest annual appropriation from the State Legislature, from general funds earmarked by UVM's Central Administration for deferred maintenance, or from the Central Administration's Facilities Renewal and Replacement Reserve.
Physical Plant is responsible for overseeing and managing all utilities infrastructure on campus. The budget for purchased utilities is handled through a separate budget outside of PPD's general operating and maintenance budget. Purchased utilities include:
- natural gas
- #2 and #6 fuel oil
The costs to operate the Central Heating and Cooling Plant (CHCP) include all of the components that directly support the 24/7/365 maintenance and operation of the Plant and the monitoring and distribution of steam and chilled water throughout the campus. These costs are shared using a formula known as the "prorate" which is annually calculated through a combination of metering and building square footage.