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Following Wells’ Closure, How is NY Helping Aurora?

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What is New York doing to help the Village of Aurora following the closure of Wells College?

While a guest on FLX Morning with Ted Baker, State Senator Rachel May said that the state is working with the village to see what help it can provide in this complicated situation.

“The state government is really stepping forward,” said May. “The mayor has heard from people from lots of different agencies in the government to see what help they can provide. It’s such a complicated situation.”

Personally, the state senator said she’s had several meetings with various groups and stakeholders to assess their next steps.

She added that the fact that Wells is a private institution along with a potential lawsuit complicates matters further.

May has previously sponsored two bills aimed at helping Aurora and villages in similar situations

S5234 would provide technical assistance for municipalities that have seen a college or university within them close. The Department of State, in coordination with other departments, would be able to work with municipalities on developing plans for the former school’s property, attracting new employers, and workforce development for those displaced by the institution’s closure.

While May renewed her push for the legislation following the announcement of Wells’ closure, the bill was originally introduced in February 2023 following the announcement that Cazenovia College would close; Cazenovia was in May’s former district.

The second bill, S9391, was introduced following Wells’ closure announcement and would have established rules for a college or university seeking to close. This aimed to create more transparency in the process and give students, faculty, and the local community ample time to prepare for the closing.

The first bill passed the Senate but not the Assembly. The second failed to move past the Senate Higher Education Committee.

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