Jason Hommes | Staff Writer
A special Northwest Iowa Community College election will be conducted April 3, with polls opening at 7 a.m. and closing at 8 p.m. Voters will be asked whether they want to approve nearly $14.2 million of general obligation bonds the college would use to pay for proposed improvements to its facilities. Any qualified voter may go to their local country auditor’s office to cast his or her vote, and any registered voter living within Lyon County is eligible to participate in the election.
Polling locations in Lyon County include West Lyon School (for all five West Lyon school districts), the community center in George, Town & Country building in Little Rock, city hall in Doon and the Forster Community Center in Rock Rapids.
The community college is hoping to expand its nursing and healthcare programs and facilities as well as facilities related to technical and agricultural-related training, such as ag diesel or precision agriculture. Northwest Iowa Community College said it hopes to keep evolving so it can meet the needs of Sheldon and surrounding communities, as both local communities and the college continue to grow.
The college put forth the proposal after studying the needs of the community and the region and after doing some long-range planning for the next 15 years. The school also listened to both external and internal focus groups as well as various employers across northwest Iowa.
If the bond referendum passes, it would mean an increase of 25 cents per $1,000 taxable valuation. For the average homeowner, with an assessed property value of $100,000, this would amount to an increase of $1.16 permonth in property taxes.
The full text of the measure, which is being called “Proposition B” on the ballots, reads as follows:
“Shall the Board of Directors of Northwest Iowa Community College in the Counties of Cherokee, Clay, Dickinson, Lyon, O’Brien, Osceola, Plymouth and Sioux be authorized to expand nursing/healthcare, career/technical, and agriculture-related training, to strengthen student services and partnerships with high schools and businesses, to expand, renovate, erect, and equip buildings, to contract indebtedness therefore, and to issue to its school bonds in an amount not exceeding $14,185,000 for those purposes?”