Local community college faces drastic budget cuts

TROY, NY — A local community college could face drastic cuts if a $7.9 million budget shortfall becomes a reality.

The Hudson Valley Community College president says the decision is now in the hands of State University of New York.

Major program cuts and around 190 layoffs loom in the future for Hudson Valley Community College. It could lose $7.9 million in revenue if SUNY decides to change the way they calculate the charge back rate — which Rennselaer County pays for as a sponsoring county for the school

“It's such a sore spot there is an expectation that the local property tax payers are going to make up for the fact the state is not paying their fair share,” said county executive Kathleen Jimino.

“We are asking Rensselaer County to contribute at the same level of other sponsoring counties,” said HVCC president Andrew Matonak

Matonak says the county currently pays Hudson Valley $1226 for each full time student, but other counties like Albany pay nearly double following the charge back rate formula.

Jimino says she doesn't want to pass the buck to tax payers without exploring other options first, like layoffs and other cutbacks.

“I can't go back to an empty wallet and say give me more,” she said. “I would say it is a last resort.”

Matonak added, “We've cut our budget significantly outside of personnel. We've also not filled a number of positions.”

“The College is creating the expectation that we are falling short because were not paying yet another of the state's bill is really unfair,” said Jimino.

She says the state is usually responsible for funding a little more than 30 percent, but in recent years that number has dropped significantly.

“My solution is that the state pays its fair share,” Jimino said.

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