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Modest increase expected in C-GCC budget

The path leading to Columbia-Greene Community College’s Arts Center last August.
July 16, 2019 05:34 pm Updated: July 17, 2019 07:29 am

CATSKILL — Columbia-Greene Community College’s sponsor counties will see a modest increase in the college’s proposed 2019-2020 operating budget, officials said.

Greene County lawmakers discussed the proposed 2019-2020 operating budget for Columbia-Greene Community College last week.

This year’s budget shows a slight increase of 0.77% from $17,118,838 to $17,239,925, College President Carlee Rader Drummer said. Columbia and Greene counties make separate contributions to the budget depending upon student enrollment, Drummer said.

“Columbia County’s share is 51.2% and Greene County is 48.8% based on fall 2018 enrollment,” Drummer said. “The bulk of our students come from Columbia and Greene counties but we also have some from Ulster and Dutchess.”

The proposed 2020 budget is based on enrollment statistics from the previous year because students are continuing to register for courses, Assistant Dean of Planning and Institutional Effectiveness Casey O’Brien said.

The student body in fall 2018 consisted of 39% Greene County residents and 39% Columbia County, 21% from other New York counties and the remaining 1% of students were from out of state, according to enrollment statistics provided by the college.

Greene County’s contribution increased $190,000 over last year, Greene County Administrator Shaun Groden said.

Legislators Michael Bulich, R-Catskill, and Harry Lennon, D-Cairo, stressed the importance of continuing to create certificate programs at the college such as construction technology, which begins this fall.

“We know what our students need,” Lennon said at the County Resources Committee meeting last week.

Greene County Treasurer Peter Markou, who serves on the college board of trustees, advised the Legislature that he believes Drummer will work with them but will also have her own ideas.

Drummer is looking forward with enthusiasm about her first semester on campus, she said Tuesday.

“I’m very excited about the construction technology program,” she said. “We have a new building and a new program. The program is filled and we exceeded the student cap by one as of yesterday. I’m really looking forward to the new semester starting on Sept. 3.”

Drummer began her presidency earlier this month. She succeeded James Campion, who stepped down for retirement after 19 years.

Drummer expressed her gratitude to the support she received from Greene and Columbia counties.

“As the new kid on the block, I can’t tell you how pleased I am for the counties giving us this wonderful support that allows us to provide exemplary education.”

Greene County will hold a public hearing for the college’s budget at 6:25 p.m. Aug. 21.