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Duree contiues to support Iowa Valley bonds

November 1, 2019
Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

Letter to the Editor

On November 5, the Iowa Valley Community College District (IVCCD) Board of Directors is putting a $32 million General Obligation Bond Referendum before area voters. What some people may not understand is the degree to which ongoing support of our local community colleges is critical to: offering education beyond high school at an affordable price; providing educational opportunities to improve lives and careers to those who have no other college options; supporting local economic development by working with industries and businesses; upskilling incumbent workers' competencies; and, preparing prospective employees for the local workforce.

These are the facts: in 2017-2018

IVCCD's operations contributed $21.9 million in added regional income by supporting 882 jobs.

Over 100 student jobs resulted in an additional $4.6 million in added regional income.

Higher IVCCD alumni earnings and increased business profit was estimated at supporting 3,600 jobs throughout the District for an additional $267.1 million in regional income.

Added all together, the total impact of the value IVCCD brought to the region in 2017-2018: $293.6 million in total income, and nearly 4,600 jobs supported, approximately 1 out of every 12 jobs in the Iowa Valley area.

Additionally, in 2018-2019, high school students taking dual credit courses earned over 12,000 college course credits saving families $2,468,893 in tuition. In the BGM, Grinnell-Newburg, and Montezuma school districts alone, 271 students and their families saved $493,148 in future college expenses through dual credit courses offered to high school students by the College.

Your "YES" vote will be supporting critically needed renovations on campuses in Iowa Falls, Marshalltown, and Grinnell. The exhaustive list of facility needs was based on a comprehensive study of all campus facilities by third party architects and engineers. In short, your tax dollars will support "needs" not "wants."

One look at your property tax statements and you will see that the taxes you pay in support of IVCCD are minimal in comparison with the other items on your bill. Why is that? Because the tax support is distributed to taxpayers throughout the multi-county area the IVCCD campuses serve. The same holds true for paying off the bond debt - the costs are distributed throughout the entire area as opposed to taxpayers residing in a single school district, city, or county absorbing the entire costs. The end result is maximum value to the area at a minimal cost to individual taxpayers.

If you have had a grandchild, daughter, son, niece, nephew, spouse, friend, or fellow employee benefit from the wide range of programs and services offered by IVCCD, I urge you to get out and vote "YES" in support of the bond referendum on Nov. 5. Your support will allow IVCCD to sustain the exceptional quality and value provided to area stakeholders, enhance people's quality of life, and positively support the economic vitality of the region with a significant return on your tax dollar investment.

Chris Duree

Retired IVCCD Chancellor




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