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Iowa Valley’s $32 million bond issue: Decision time is Tuesday

March 29, 2019
By John Speer - Editor ( , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

Campus security, needed infrastructure improvements and benefits to the educational opportunities provided by the Iowa Valley Community College District are some of the chief reasons supporters of the $32 million bond issue call for your vote next Tuesday, April 2.

Voters in the South Tama and the other school districts can weigh out the benefits of their contribution to the needs versus the results it promises to provide.

Can you deny keeping up and providing a secure campus setting?

We are told the 20 cents allowed for collection for infrastructure maintenance needs to be hiked by legislative action - the costs simply out distance the amount of money involved.

It is apparent the educational landscape evolves, changes and has new, needed innovations and requirements. We are told the bond issue will help address these needs.

The benefit of dual enrollment which allows South Tama High School students to "dual-enroll" with the community college offers them the chance to get a head start at college.

The willingness of the Iowa Valley District to adapt course offerings in the industrial training certainly offers area students to gain skills close to home.

A junior college itself is a stepping stone to higher education and has had a valuable role for decades. Marshalltown Community?College was founded in 1927.

Supporting the needs of the Iowa Valley Community Colleges is frankly a minor part of your property tax bill. (Take a look at your tax receipt.)

In this corner some negatives about the operation of Iowa Valley appear.

Some of the venues which continue to, at the least, slightly raise "the hackles" are the recreation center on the Iowa Falls campus open to the public; where was the justification for a campus to be added in Grinnell in the 1990s?; and, yes, sorry, the Marshalltown IVCCD Orpheum Theatre.

Maintenance of buildings and grounds must be trusted to be ongoing. Are some of these facilities costing too much at the expense of education and where has the caretaking been?

Justification for a curtailment of adult education program offerings here is based, sadly, on lack of interest. Iowa Valley officials report there has been little or no enrollment in some courses offered in recent years. Hopefully, continued effort to maintain and bolster new avenues, as were undertaken last year, will continue, not be abandoned in favor of more offerings on campus.

Even though Marshalltown and Marshall County, Iowa Falls and Hardin County and Grinnell and Poweshiek County voters combined have the obvious upper hand in numbers, expressing your view- for or against the $32 million bond issue has importance.

Remember, with 60 percent required, your vote could tip the balance either way.

If you haven't already voted early, be sure to cast your ballot on Tuesday, April 2.

-J. Speer



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