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Tax levy reduction, ECC remodel project top Board agenda

The Iowa Valley Community College District (IVCCD) Board of Directors approved a budget estimate for 2018-2019, which includes a reduction in local property tax askings, when it met this week in Marshalltown.

Kathy Pink, IVCCD Vice Chancellor of Finance/CFO, reviewed the FY19 budget estimate and explained variances from the FY18 estimated budget. One of the large variances is due to IVCCD reducing it property tax levies because its General Obligation Bond issuances are nearing closure so the principal and interest payments are reduced. Currently local taxpayers pay $1.36842 per $1,000 assessed valuation for IVCCD levies; next year that goes down by nearly 37 cents to $0.99668 per $1,000 assessed valuation. This marks the 9th consecutive year that the District’s local property tax asking has been decreased.

Pink told the Board that districtwide (Hardin, Marshall, Poweshiek and Tama Counties plus portions of six other counties), property tax valuations are up about 2.7 percent compared to last year. The estimated budget will be filed and legal notices published, and a public hearing is set for Mar. 7 at 4 pm in the IVCCD District Administration Board Room to approve the FY19 estimated budget.

The Iowa Valley Board then heard a report from TSP Architecture on plans for a renovation of the Ellsworth Community College Math-Science Building, built in 1971. Budgeted at $1.2 million, the work is being funded with ACE infrastructure dollars allocated by the Iowa Legislature over the past several years. The renovation will include updating mechanical and electrical equipment, plumbing, lighting, and restrooms. New features will included widened doorways for accessibility, a new sprinkler system, sidewalks, updated finishes throughout, and a student commons area surrounded by faculty offices in the heart of the building. Work is expected to begin immediately after graduation in early May, and will be substantially completed prior to the start of classes in August.

The Board approved proceeding with the ECC Math-Science building renovation project and set the date for the public hearing on the plans, specifications, form of contract, and estimated cost for a special meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 28, at 4 p.m.

In personnel matters, the Board approved four early retirement applications, which will take effect on July 1. The retirees include Linda Hanson (Associate Dean of Health Occupations), Sherilyn Hitch (Adult Literacy Instructor for Hardin County), Wendy Lyman (ECC Receptionist), and Jim Wilson (Chief Information Officer). Board President Larry Johnson said the four have served the District long and well, and that a great deal of history and technical skill are being lost with their retirements. “These people will be difficult to replace, but their retirements are well-deserved and they’ve earned the right to move on. They leave with our thanks.”

In other matters, the Board approved an additional services amendment to its contract with TSP Architecture, Engineering & Planning; an addendum to the contract with Grinnell-Newburg and four Board Policy and Guideline updates. The Board also accepted the gift of several machine trades-related books from retired MCC faculty member Gerald Turner to the MCC Machine Trades program.

The Board approved a reverse transfer agreement by which Marshalltown Community College will utilize the National Student Clearinghouse to facilitate the exchange of student records for students transferring from a four-year institution to complete a degree or diploma program at MCC. Also related to MCC, the Board approved a facilities use agreement with Interstate Power & Light Company (Alliant) that will enable MCC’s Utility Technician students to use high-tech equipment at the Alliant training field in Marshalltown for hands-on training. Facilitated by MCC instructor Bob Hiatt, the agreement greatly enhances the college’s Utility Technician programs.

MCC Athletic Director Dr. Kathleen Brown and three student-athletes talked to the Board about the MCC student-athlete experience. Soccer player Kino Ryosuke of Japan, basketball player Loralei Siliga of Texas, and softball player Shaena Robinson of Nevada told Board members how recruitment by coaches led them to enroll at MCC, where they’ve experienced both athletic and academic successes. Dr. Brown explained how the MCC Athletic Department aligns its activities to the college mission, focusing on providing quality learning experiences (academic success plans and an advisory committee), ensuring student success (both on and off the field), responding to diverse community needs (including opportunities for international student-athletes), and building community partnerships (through community service).

The next meeting of the IVCCD Board will be a special session on Wednesday, Feb. 28, at 4 pm in the District Administration Building (Board Room) on the Iowa Valley/MCC campus in Marshalltown.

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