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      Legislature says no to OCC request for taxpayer subsidy increase

      I n the midst of a sometimes contentious budget battle between Onondaga Community College and the county legislature, the Ways and Means Committee has turned down OCC's request for an increase in its taxpayer subsidy.

      The college had asked for the legislature to approve a subsidy of $9,530,300. Instead the committee reduced that request to $9,307,000, which represents no increase from last year's subsidy.

      Legislator Judy Tassone told CNYcentral's Jim Kenyon the request was "not fallout" from the debate earlier this month over OCC's revenue from not-for-profit corporations that it maintains.

      Lawmakers were upset OCC was not being transparent in turning over financial records regarding those not-for-profits. The college later relented and did turn over the majority of the financial reports.

      In addition, the legislature has delayed the approval of OCC's $10.8 million capital improvements budget. Tassone complained to CNYcentral that OCC was beginning to look more like a university than a community college.

      OCC Interim President Meg O'Connell told reporters OCC "will never be a university" but will always be a community college.

      The capital improvement projects that were delayed would go towards an improved athletic facility, IT wireless system, sidewalks, and energy infrastructure.