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Empire State College may build in Selden

Suffolk lawmakers this week will consider whether the county should sell 6.5 acres to the state for $660,000 so that Empire State College can build a new regional headquarters in Selden next to Suffolk Community College.

The deal would be part of a consolidation for Empire — an educational institution that allows adult students to use work experience for college credit — which now has offices at the SUNY College at Old Westbury and in the state office buildings in Hauppauge and in Riverhead.

But the lawmakers are also considering another resolution that would declare the entire 61.4-acre Selden tract as surplus and sell or lease it as a way to help the county reduce its current budget shortfall, estimated at $140 million to $179 million.

A sale could return the land to the tax roll to generate new property tax revenue.

Both resolutions will come up before the Ways and Means Committee Tuesday in Hauppauge.

Presiding Officer William Lindsay (D-Holbrook), sponsor of the measure to sell the entire site, said he doesn’t necessarily see a conflict between the two proposals.

“I’m just on a mission to raise money,” he said. “This is all a part of an effort to keep us afloat.”

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