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$38.7 million GCC budget for 2014-15 academic year OK’d by Legislature

BYRON – The Genesee County Legislature on Wednesday approved a $38.7 million budget for Genesee Community College operations in the academic year beginning Sept. 1.

As sponsor of the college, the legislators also approved the county’s share, $2.3 million, in a spending plan that is less than 2 percent more than the current year.

GCC’s board of trustees, which approved the budget last month, is increasing tuition for full-time students by $75 per semester, an amount that for many will be offset by financial assistance. A technology fee will double to $50, and an academic support fee will be $25.

GCC President James M. Sunser said rising utility costs and contracted salary increases pushed the budget up from the current year’s $38.07 million.

The Legislature has not acted on a request for an additional $500,000 from the county to offset possible changes in chargeback – fees paid by other counties whose students attend GCC.

This is a key element in the budget, because two-thirds of the 7,500 students come from counties other than Genesee. Nearly 2,000 live in the three neighboring counties where GCC has satellite campuses.

The legislators – meeting in one of their periodic outreach sessions in rural communities – also:

• Awarded a $450,580 contract to LaValley Brothers Construction of Wolcott to replace underground fuel tanks at the county’s highway garage with above-ground tanks, a monitoring system and a canopy. The money will come from capital projects funded by a 1 percent sales tax.

• Appointed Lorie J. Longhany, of Le Roy, as election commissioner to succeed Dawn E. Fairbanks. The Democratic Party chairwoman will serve with Richard E. Siebert, who heads the county’s Republican Committee.

• Agreed that the towns of Elba and Oakfield can join the Townline Water Project initiated by the Town of Batavia. The water supply agreement will boost revenue for the countywide water system. The start of construction and the number of property owners to be served has not been determined.

• Appointed Virginia B. Adams, of Bergen, to the county Planning Board, and Geoffrey Buell, of Holley, a Lapp Insulator official, to the GLOW Workforce Investment Board.