by Susan Mikula Campbell
A public hearing on Niagara County Community College's proposed $49 million budget will be held at 6:45 p.m. Tuesday, May 21, at the county courthouse in Lockport.
The budget includes a 2.6 percent tuition increase of $96 per year, which brings the total tuition cost to $3,792 per year.
William Ross, chairman of the Niagara County Legislature, said even with the increase, the college's tuition is near the middle of rates charged by all of the state's community colleges and is less than Erie Community College. Ross also is a member of the NCCC Board of Trustees.
Ross called it a "flat budget" as far as the county's $8.87 million contribution. "We have had no increase, I believe, for the seventh straight year," he said.
NCCC President Dr. James P. Klyczek is expected to attend the public hearing.
After the hearing, if there is a consensus of opinion among the county legislators, he will recommend passage of the budget, Ross said. If legislators have questions or want further discussion, the final vote on the NCCC budget could be held at the June 18 meeting.
"I thought, overall, it is a good budget," Ross said.
Any capital projects proposed by the college will be reviewed separately by the County Legislature. Those projects, if approved would be funded 50 percent by the county and 50 percent by the SUNY (State University of New York) system, Ross said.