After learning Cattaraugus County may have to come up with $10 million toward an expansion for Jamestown Community College in Olean, legislators modified their support for the project.
During college officials' 90-minute presentation of the $31.5 million project for the Cattaraugus County Campus, legislators learned their share would be needed next year to begin making property acquisitions.
"Without minimal funding to move this ahead we may not have a project," said Dr. Gregory DeCinque, JCC president. "We're here asking for your consideration and an opportunity to make a long term investment in education."
Minority Leader Charlotte McLaughlin, D-Olean, said she polled other legislators, who said they would not commit to $10 million.
"I don't want to say 'no' to the project," Mrs. McLaughlin said. "I want to see JCC expand. So what happens when some here get cold feet? I'm afraid you are not going to see $10 million come out of this Legislature."
Majority Leader Mark S. Williams, R-Hinsdale, pushed for both sides to support the college's application for expansion to the state Board of Regents. Williams argued the resolution supports only the concept and does not imply the legislature would provide $10 million.
"Why would we vote for something we don't plan on paying for?" asked Edward O'Dell, D-Salamanca.
After Williams offered an amendment to the resolution to reserve legislative rights to provide financial commitment at a later date, several Democrats pledged support.
In a final vote of support for the campus expansion, there were two 'no' votes, from Larry G. Mack, D-Humphrey, and O'Dell. Mrs. McLaughlin left before the vote.