AUBURN | The Cayuga Community College Board of Trustees has voted to hold off on the school's student housing and sports complex projects until its operating budget issue is resolved.

Several capital projects planned for the college will be postponed until the college's fund balance is at 5 percent of  the operating budget. The board approved a resolution during a meeting Wednesday on the college's Fulton campus.

"The board wants to insure that we're able to address the immediate budget issues that the college is working through," said college president Daniel Larson on Thursday.

Larson said the board would like to proceed in resolving the budget issues without the "distractions" involved with the other projects. The complaints from Auburn residents about the proposed student housing project are well-documented and the college's Dr. Joseph F. and Honey Karpinski Athletic Stadium Complex has not receive state funding, according to Larson.

The college is moving forward with the Schwartz Family Performing Arts Center project in downtown Auburn, as well as the continuation of construction work at the college's Fulton campus and installation of a new telephone system for the Auburn campus.

A separate resolution passed by the board gave the theater the official green light to proceed and the college will discuss the next steps with the city. Larson said this project is proceeding because the capital funding from New York state has been allocated and the local funding has been raised by Finger Lakes Musical Theatre Festival.

"The college will continue to work with that project to see it come to fruition," he said.

The board passed another resolution Wednesday night to establish a maximum spending cap of $10,000 for items that are not contained with the budget. Anything $10,000 or more needs board approval, Larson said.

These items can be anything from repairs for a leaking roof to a malfunctioning boiler. Larson said the cap is financially typical in which the items not on the budget "are things that the board would like to know about."

The board has also given instructions to Larson and his administration to come up with a budget for the 2013-14 fiscal year based on a population estimate of 2,900 full-time equivalent students.

Larson said the instructions are part of conversations the board has had on what next year's budget will look like. The board would like to know what the budget would be if the college comes up short on enrollment projections or exceeds them, Larson said.

Staff writer Greg Mason can be reached at 282-2239 or greg.mason@lee.net. Follow him on Twitter at CitizenMason.

(4) comments

Sage
Sage

The college has no business being involved in the downtown theater. No classrooms, no faculty, no programs for it, It has nothing to do with educating students. Isnt that what the college should be doing?

Ezekiel
Ezekiel

The College & Playhouse Partnership is critical to Auburn's future. I've never commented before on these stories -- but the continued and vocal MINORITY opposition to the Kalet's construction is hurting Auburn. There are communities throughout Upstate NY that would love to have the creative energy, jobs, and economic impact that the Festival is bringing to Auburn. I would love to hear some constructive ideas from Sage and those opposing the Kalet's project -- what do you have in mind to help Auburn? I think its time for the silent majority to not just speak -- but to SHOUT -- this project is good for Auburn and good for our businesses. It's time to build the Schwartz!

patchwork
patchwork

Hogwash! The theater certainly is not critical to Auburn's future and if it is, we're in deeper trouble than anyone thinks. Jobs and economic impact? How many and at what cost? Trying to base one's future on non-profits that don't help pay the bills or on seasonal theater programs that may produce a few part time or low wage jobs is not a strategy for an economic revitalization. Almost every building project downtown has now become wholly exempt from property taxes which is adding to our budget problems. With all that said, I don't have a problem with a theater festival, just that so much is being sacrificed for it on the artificial hopes that it'll turn the city around. Auburn first needs to restructure the way she operates and major changes have to be made before we can move forward. And a vital part of that will depend on what revenues we can count on and from whom. Put those buildings and the non-profits on the tax rolls, and I'll support the arts.

summerbreeze
summerbreeze

Ezekiel, you have made a good argument why the college should not build the theater. You said it will help the city of Auburn. What does that have to do with a college educatioin?
Where will the money go from ticket sales? To the college? Who will maintain this building? Maybe you should ask these questions and also the salary of the people running the theater.
If it is such a great benefit to Auburn then let the city build and maintain it. Just like the county does to the Merry Go Round theater that also gets a free ride.

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