County Executive Candidates discuss funds for community college

Republican Candidate for Erie County Executive, Art Oligeri, says the current administration misrepresented how they plan to fund the community college. 

Oligeri says the $3.2 million in the proposed budget for the long-term debt fund under the Erie County Gaming Revenue Authority is higher than what the administration says it would be after paying off the airport runway extension this year.  Oligeri saying paying off the $2.4 million for the runway extension should put the longterm debt fund at less than a million, but he claims the county forgot to include the balloon payments for Erie Insurance Arena.

He says in addition to the $1 million budgeted for the library and $2 million in grants it totals $6.2 million.  That's $1.2 million over the $5 million that the county currently gets in gaming revenue.

Oligeri saying in Empower Erie's proposal the community college would be $2.9 million of gaming revenue. "It was a huge error, and now to make all of this work, it would take $4 million more than what we have. $4.2 million more than what we have."

He says the numbers just don't add up without increasing taxes however, incumbent County Executive, Kathy Dahlkemper, says the community college isn't in the budget because there is no community college yet, and she says if or when it becomes a reality, she vows it will not cost the taxpayers anymore.  "To make sure that we have the funding through gaming, through contributions from non-profits such as the Erie Community Foundation, and through contributions hopefully - and I know we will be able to do this - from other partners in the community who want this to happen."

The future of gaming revenue and the community college plan are both in the hands of the state. 


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