Steep reduction proposed in college funding
Phyllis Coombe, chair of the SCCC board of trustees, also told the board that if there were no college in the county, and if 80% of students who attend the college were to attend Orange County Community College (OCCC) instead, the cost to the county would be $5.4 million because of charge backs the county would be required to pay OCCC. She also said personnel at SCCC are the lowest paid in the State University of New York, making an average of $20,000 less per year than their counterparts elsewhere.
Coombe said economic development would be impossible without the college, and lack of a college would lead to lower unemployment and higher crime. She concluded, “Don’t force us to turn out the lights on our dreams and our county’s hopes.”
With the county looking at significant cuts in the county workforce next year, heaped on cuts from previous years, and with officials in Albany seriously considering the imposition of the two percent cap on property tax increases, county officials may feel they have no option but to lower the contribution to the college.
Lawmakers plan to address the issue again on May 12.