Support the Iowa Valley bond referendum

On or before April 2, community members get to make a decision that greatly impacts the future of our community. We encourage you to vote “yes” on the Iowa Valley bond referendum because we believe it is necessary for Marshalltown and the surrounding area.

Community colleges are often higher education’s backbone. They provide classes, degrees and job training necessary for local needs. For some, it provides an affordable way to start off before heading to a university. For others, it provides everything they need for their chosen profession. Everyone from high school students to retirees can benefit from programming at Marshalltown Community College and the other schools in the Iowa Valley district.

But there comes a time when infrastructure ages and technology becomes out of date. That time has arrived for the Iowa Valley campuses.

The needs identified by the district focus on safety, security and sustainability should the referendum pass. The district is not trying to fund a fancy new building or projects on a wish list, the leaders have identified necessities for the future of the campuses.

During a 2017 mass casualty training at MCC, Iowa Valley leaders learned they had many gaps in security. Statistically speaking, campuses must be prepared should an attack ever happen. The ability to lockdown doors immediately, for example, is one way campuses can be more secure.

Parking lots and buildings need repairs. Computer labs need updated. MCC’s Dejardin Hall and library need to be modernized. More lighting is needed for students walking at night.

These fixes are necessary and important for keeping up our campuses.

Iowa Valley’s campuses are located in Marshall, Hardin and Poweshiek counties, but the district at large also reaches parts of Tama, Grundy, Jasper, Story, Butler, Franklin and Hamilton counties. If the $32 million bond is approved, the resulting property tax increase would be spread among those 10 counties, not just the three where campuses are.

Yes, voting for this bond referendum will raise your taxes. But think about the economic loss that could result from leaving our campuses in dire need of repairs. On the flip side, a safer and vibrant campus not only serves today’s students better, but it attracts more students to choose to come here. It gives those looking to host a conference a better place to do so.

Supporting the bond referendum supports the future of our community.