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The Upstate Economy

OCC and county lawmakers spar over SRC financial information

Onondaga Community College's reluctance to turn over financial information to county lawmakers regarding the new SRC Arena is creating some friction. It has become part of budget discussions between Onondaga County and the community college.

Republican Judy Tassone says she was shocked that the school initially wouldn't turn over the documents regarding the arena, which opened last December. Under pressure, OCC has turned over copies of contracts to lawmakers but some areas are blacked out. That's what bothers Tassone.

"This isn't a witch hunt against OCC... We just want transparency," Tassone said.

OCC's general budget and facilities are partially funded by Onondaga County taxpayers. That's why the county has a say in the disclosure of financial information. The school will present its budget to lawmakers on Monday. The Ways and Means Committee Chairman David Knapp says the arena financials should be part of budget considerations.

"These extra things, like the SRC Arena and athletic fields, are a piece of the pie that we have to make sure that taxpayers are getting a good investment," Knapp said.

The arena has been a concern of lawmakers since construction began because of potential competition between the SRC and the troubled downtown OnCenter, which is owned by the county.