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Support IVCCD bond referendum with ‘yes’ vote

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 Community College District.

The economic impact of our local community college district is signifiant. The Iowa Valley district delivered about $293 million in total impact through operations spending, student spending and alumni impact in its recent fiscal year. The district’s payroll amounted to more than $19 million, much of which is spent in the district region where its employees live.

More than 30 percent of students at IVCCD come from outside the region and other students retained within the district generate a sizable amount of money spent locally. Further, the net impact of alumni living and working in the regional workforce also generates millions of dollars in income. In total, IVCCD supported 4,588 jobs, or one out of every 12 jobs, in the IVCCD service region during the 2018-19 fiscal year.

A question posed on the Nov. 5 ballot will have great impact on the Marshalltown area. The Iowa Valley college district will ask for approval of a $32 million general obligation bond and will in turn address needs identified by the district such as infrastructure, safety and technology.

Supporting the bond referendum supports the future of our community.

The district has been clear about identifying critical needs for sustainability and success. It’s not checking off a wish list. At MCC, parking lots and buildings need repairs. Computer labs need updating. Dejardin Hall and the library need to be modernized. More lighting is needed for students walking at night. These fixes are necessary and important.

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. When the $32 million bond is approved, the resulting property tax increase would be spread among those 10 counties. For homeowners, the bond issue will cost about $40 per year for a home with an assessed valuation of $100,000.

A vibrant and safe campus will serve students and attract more. The benefits to our community are necessary and important. Support the IVCCD bond referendum with a “yes” vote.

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