If the Monroe County government can save taxpayers $18 million, shouldn’t it?
We think so. So why are county leaders rushing into a decision to move Monroe Community College (MCC) out of the Sibley Building and into the Kodak building? They need to hear immediately from taxpayers, businesses, MCC students and faculty, and others to delay the proposed February 12th vote so we can have a thoughtful, fair examination of all the options.
The Kodak site is the most expensive choice based on the college’s own estimate. It also risks being even more costly in the future because it is a mile from the new central bus station and because of uncertainty regarding utilities, bankruptcy issues, state funding issues, and the 300,000 square feet of EXTRA vacant space that county taxpayers will need to pay to maintain, insure, heat and secure. What will be the economic costs to area businesses when MCC abandons downtown Rochester? How will it impact commuting MCC students and faculty?
Most importantly, what's the hurry? MCC has more than four years on its lease. In that time, the new owner of the Sibley Building, WinnCompanies, can improve and modernize the Sibley MCC campus so it more than meets the college's needs – and saves Monroe County taxpayers a minimum of $18 million.
On December 10, county leaders promised taxpayers an open, neutral campus selection process. Seven weeks later, a key committee rammed through its endorsement for Kodak. Now they've rushed to set Feb. 12 for a full vote of the County Legislature to approve the Kodak site -- a vote that will cost $18 million of your money.
The Sibley Building proposal deserves a thorough examination. It's time for a fair hearing on this common sense option that is far less costly. Every penny of taxpayer money is important in tough economic times. Taxpayers deserve to be heard on the chance to save $18 million. So do Monroe County businesses and MCC faculty and students.
Sign this petition to tell county leaders to stop the costly stampede to the Kodak site by postponing the February 12th vote, and to demand that state, county and college officials take a step back and a hard look at the Sibley Building's money-saving proposal.