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Legislature OKs transfer of property to increase housing for college students

The Genesee County Legislature Wednesday approved a transfer of county property to the Genesee Community College Foundation that will permit additional student housing next to the Batavia Campus.

In August 2001, the foundation purchased from a private developer two buildings that today house 300 students. The additions will add 64 units, and reconfiguration of the existing housing office space will provide another 15.

The land transfer had to be approved by the college trustees, the County Legislature and the SUNY board of trustees.

It involves five acres in two parcels, the first approved Wednesday at a probable cost of $18,000. The second transfer is expected in January, permitting the start of construction.

GCC officials, through the foundation's Housing Service, expect the 79 units will be ready for the fall 2007 semester.

GCC was one of the first community colleges in New York State to offer on-campus housing. Today only nine of the 30 community colleges provide housing. It is estimated that at least 10 percent of GCC's 6,503 students need accommodations, according to Richard G. Ensman Jr., GCC development director.

In other business during its year-end meeting, legislators:

* Held a public hearing on applying for a $316,000 federal Small Cities grant to help fund a 5,000-square-foot expansion of O-AT-LAK Milk Products Co-Operative of Batavia. The milk-processing firm claims to be the largest producer of concentrated products in the nation. The $8.2 million project would add about 30 jobs to the300-employee work force. With no objections, the proposal was approved.

* Agreed to a 2007 contract that will provide $280,275 in funding to the Genesee County Economic Development Center, the same amount as the current year.

* Renewed $48,600 to support the Holland Land Office Museum, and $478,320 for the Cornell Cooperative Extension Association. Both amounts are the same as this year and both are in the 2007 budget.

* Accepted a donation of a 1997 Dodge van from the Rochester Regional Transportation Authority to the Genesee County Nursing Home.

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