Counties approve college budget

ELIZABETHTOWN – Both the Essex County Board of Supervisors and the Franklin County Board of Legislators have approved North Country Community College’s 2013-14 budget.

Total spending in the budget is $14,625,300. Each county would be responsible for providing $1.19 million of that.

Essex and Franklin counties both sponsor the college, which has campuses in Saranac Lake, Malone and Ticonderoga.

Each counties’ portion would be split up into $1.14 million for operating expenses and $50,000 for capital spending.

College officials in the past have tried to get the counties to sponsor more significant capital projects, arguing that the college’s main campus in Saranac Lake needs a serious overhaul, but the counties have rejected it. College officials say the $50,000 regularly put into the capital accounts barely deals with all the Band-aid fixes needed to keep the campuses running.

On Monday, Willsboro town Supervisor Ed Hatch was the only Essex County supervisor to vote against the budget. He explained at a Ways and Means Committee meeting the previous week that he doesn’t think the counties can afford to sponsor the college. He also said he believes the college’s budget should be considered during the counties’ budget time, rather than being a set expense going into the county budget process.

On Thursday, the Franklin County Board of Legislators unanimously approved the college’s budget.

Contact Jessica Collier at 891-2600 ext. 26 or

Shaun Kittle contributed to this report.