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Mayor Richards: "MCC is not playing with their own money"

Posted at: 02/13/2013 2:28 AM
Updated at: 02/13/2013 6:20 AM

nullOn Tuesday night, the fate of MCC's downtown campus was decided by the Monroe County Legislature. It will move from the Sibley Building to old Kodak Property on State Street.

City Mayor Tom Richards wanted the campus to stay in the Sibley Building. He believed there was not enough thought given to the funding for this major project.

He says, "One of the things that's gotten lost in this whole discussion here is, MCC is not playing with their own money, they're playing with your money and mine. This is a public project and it's going to have to be paid for by the public, and so, you know, we ought to think about that."

He continues, "I'm sorry that these questions have to come up but all of us, including the county and city are under a lot of financial pressure here so we've got to start thinking about it."

Richards feels one of the biggest problems with moving the campus lies in the operating costs. He mentioned projects like Sahlen's Stadium, which was funded by grants and other state money, but costs the city hundreds of thousands of dollars a year to operate.

He also brought up the Fast Ferry, which he says the city had to give up because it couldn't afford to pay the operating costs.

The County Legislature debated the issue for over two hours, with democrats hammering MCC President Anne Kress with questions about parking and state funding.

In the end, the move was approved in a 19 to 9 vote.