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Essex County

Smith stressed that the commitment to help fund the full project would likely be at least a year away.

"My guess is it would be 2011 before you see any shovel in the dirt," he said.

Wilmington Supervisor Randy Preston expressed opposition to funding additional construction at the college when so many county residents were already struggling financially.

"I think the timing couldn't be worse for this right now," said Moriah Supervisor Thomas Scozzafava, noting the radio system update and other large-scale projects the county would soon be undertaking.

Most spoke in favor of funding the construction planning, even if they were wary of the cost of the project.

"Nobody's going to know what the real cost is until you have some sort of professional study," said County Manager Daniel Palmer.

Schroon Lake Supervisor and board chair Cathy Moses said having a plan ready for construction might position the project for more state or federal funding.

Douglas and Ticonderoga Supervisor Robert Dedrick noted the need to consider renovating a campus they said was "literally falling apart."

"We will lose students if we don't maintain facilities that are competitive," said Dedrick.

The committee ultimately voted to approve the $55,000 allocation with Preston as the only member opposed.

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