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IVCCD learns economic impact of institution

Fisher

Iowa Valley Community College chancellor Dr. Kristie Fisher gave the IVCCD Board of Directors some talking points to bring up when people ask about the $32 million bond referendum vote on Nov. 5.

One thing she told them is to bring up is the $293 million economic impact the educational institute has on the counties of Marshall, Butler, Franklin, Grundy, Hamilton, Hardin, Jasper, Poweshiek, Story and Tama.

“Was $1 spent on Iowa Valley a good investment,” Fisher asked. “It’s pure gold.”

Fisher told the board that the $293 million figure might seem inflated.

“When you think about that is a number that is unique to higher ed and in particular to community colleges who serve their local communities and have alumni that stay and continue to contribute to the economy,” she said.

Fisher said the economic impact not only shows the impact of IVCCD but also shows voters the rate of return, which is almost 24 percent.

“Another way to think about it is for every $1 invested, a student gets $6 back,” she said. “That’s a wonderful investment.”

Fisher said not only would students benefit, but tax payers would as well. She said for every $1 invested, the tax payer will get $2.30 back.

Fisher received the numbers from a 100-page report from Economic Modeling Specialists International (EMSI). The board approved a contract with the firm to conduct an economic impact study for IVCCD.

Fisher said EMSI looks at net numbers, not gross numbers and takes a conservative approach so the figures are not inflated.

The bond

If passed, the $32 million general obligation bond will raise property owners’ 2020 tax rates from 88 cents per $1,000 to $1.72 in 2021 and $1.66 in 2022.

In order for the bond to pass, 60 percent of voters need to be in favor.

IVCCD will use the money to improve and equip existing buildings at the multiple locations in the counties of Marshall, Hardin, Poweshiek and Tama.

Some specific projects include renovating classrooms and laboratories; upgrading security systems; infrastructure and technology; and renovating outdated student dorms.

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Contact Lana Bradstream at

641-753-6611 or

lbradstream@timesrepublican.com.