PLATTSBURGH — Clinton County legislators unanimously approved Clinton Community College's 2019-2020 budget Wednesday night.
That included a 10 percent increase in local aid from the county for the two-year school.
The county's total contribution went up $295,593, bringing the total to $3,251,527, up from $2,955,934 for 2018-2019.
At a public hearing prior to the vote, lone speaker and longtime CCC teacher Tom Mandeville thanked the legislators for their support in helping the college get through these trying times.
He also expressed, as a senior faculty member, complete faith in CCC President Ray DiPasquale.
"I have confidence that Ray will see us through this period and we’ll be the great college that we’ve always been up on the hill."
Legislator Mark Dame (R-Area 8) made a motion, seconded by Legislator Chris Rosenquest (D-Area 9), to adopt the college's budget.
Area 4 Legislator Simon Conroy, a Democrat, said many in the public probably do not realize that the county, state and federal governments all have to chip in to CCC's budget.
"Over the years they’re getting less support from the state and we need to help a little more."
Conroy was not concerned with the state's decrease in funding — pointing out its assistance with the Institute of Advanced Manufacturing on campus — because everything else is going in the right direction.
"To me, it’s all about economic development and if we didn’t have this institution there to help with the high-tech manufacturing push that we’re involved in right now, we’d be missing an important piece of the puzzle."
Rosenquest spoke of his experience serving on the CCC presidential search committee, which led to the selection of DiPasquale to fill the role a few years ago.
"I can’t say enough about Ray’s leadership and the leadership as a whole at the college," he said.
The legislature has asked DiPasquale and his team to come up with a spending pan, which they have done, Rosenquest added.
"I think we’re at that point to then look to see what the future at the college holds with how we do business at the college."
BANKING ON IT
Dame — the legislature's liaison to CCC — thanked his colleagues for their support of the college.
"I appreciate it, but most of all I think we need to thank the taxpayers of Clinton County who really are providing the funding.
"We are just the conduit for making the decision for them."
Dame believes most county residents support CCC.
"The team at Clinton Community College has never been better — the president, the administrators, the faculty."
This is the year of reckoning, Dame continued, and he believes the trustees and stakeholders will pull it off.
"We won’t be seeing an increase like this again. We will be better financially.
"I am banking on it."
County Legislature Chairperson Harry McManus (D-Area 1) said he was glad to make his 12th budget vote this year.
"Clinton Community College is a major part of our collective successful future in Clinton County.
"There’s no question in my mind that we’re doing the right thing now and there’s no question in my mind the college is doing exactly the right thing that we wanted it to do."
After the meeting, DiPasquale thanked each individual legislator for supporting the college.
"This county understands the value of education and the difference it can make in the lives of all its citizens," he said.
"On behalf of of the entire college, I thank the legislature for their support."
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