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In Pennsylvania, debate intensifies over how to finance a new campus of Northampton Community College

Pocono Record
The debate over the financing for a new Tannersville campus for Northampton Community College, which has roiled Monroe County's commissioners for much of the summer, exposes two different perspectives and philosophies: one is based in trust and the other in skepticism.

Commissioners' Chairwoman Suzanne McCool and Commissioner Theresa Merli, who both favor the project, trust that the county's business office and hired experts have thoroughly examined the risks involved in financing the new, 5,000-student campus of NCC.

"We're overanalyzing this," said Merli, during a spirited, often contentious exchange before the Pocono Record's editorial board Thursday morning. "It's time to move forward."

The session took place less than a week before the project faces a significant milestone. The commissioners are preparing to vote Wednesday on a memorandum of understanding with the college that will green-light a deal between the county and the college for the missing piece of financing.

The $72 million project will derive its support from three sources: a state grant for $36 million, which must be matched by a local share, as well as between $5 million and $7 million that it will raise privately.
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