General Obligation Bond Referendum
The Iowa Valley Community College District (IVCCD) Board of Directors has voted to bring a $32 million General Obligation Bond Referendum before area voters on Tuesday, April 2, 2019. The language on the ballot will read as follows:
Shall the Iowa Valley Community College (Merged Area VI) in the Counties of Butler, Franklin, Grundy, Hamilton, Hardin, Jasper, Marshall, Poweshiek, Story and Tama, State of Iowa, be authorized to renovate, improve, repair, construct, erect, furnish, and equip existing buildings, including student housing buildings, at multiple campus and enrollment locations, with an emphasis on safety, security, and sustainability; to construct, erect, furnish and equip student housing buildings and additions to existing student housing building; and issue its school bonds in an amount not exceeding $32,000,000 for such purposes?
What is a General Obligation Bond Referendum?
Iowa community colleges are permitted to issue general obligation bonds to finance new construction and major renovations for existing buildings. Passage of a bond referendum requires a 60% majority of votes cast across the entire IVCCD service area (the counties are named above).
How will students and communities be impacted?
- Improved safety and security of students, faculty and staff at all campuses.
- Expanded job training in STEM-related fields (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).
- Continued high quality dual credit opportunities for high school students.
- Improved college facilities.
- Expanded job training/retraining for local businesses and industries.
If approved by voters, how would the funds be used?
In 2017, IVCCD conducted a comprehensive assessment of all its facilities in Hardin (Ellsworth Community College), Marshall (Marshalltown Community College/Iowa Valley Continuing Education), Poweshiek (Iowa Valley Grinnell) and Tama (Iowa Valley Continuing Education) Counties. Many of the buildings in Hardin and Marshall Counties were built in the 1970s and 1980s … a few are newer, and some are even older. This bond issue would fund major capital improvement projects on the Iowa Falls, Marshalltown and Grinnell campuses. Per IVCCD’s master facilities plan, these projects are identified as being essential to the District’s safety, security and sustainability:
- Safety & Security – Upgrade security cameras, improve campus lighting, improve accessibility and entrances, improve ventilation, update wayfinding signage, patch/repair parking lots and sidewalks, and update key/locking systems and fire alarm panels as needed.
- Learning Spaces – Renovate MCC computer labs and STEM classrooms, expand/improve MCC Library and Student Success Center, remodel/upgrade Dejardin Hall and meeting rooms in the IVCE Conference Center, furnish renovated spaces, and expand lab space and create a secure area for the Grinnell Gunsmith program’s Gun Repair Shop.
- Living Spaces – Renovate seriously outdated and worn ECC student housing buildings (Thompson Hall – built in 1972 and Wall Hall – built in 1964) and expand existing College Suites.
- Infrastructures – Repair/upgrade aging HVAC systems and electrical panels, replace worn carpeting, replace leaky windows, rehab interior and exterior walls and ceilings, update restrooms and locker rooms, repair roofing as needed, and remodel inoperable ECC pool into student space.
- Technologies – Upgrade telephone and clock systems, install backup generator for IT servers, and upgrade LAN/WAN systems (internal data network and internet connectivity between campuses) as needed.
How will taxpayers be impacted?
For a homeowner, the bond issue will cost approximately $3.38 per month ($40.52/year) for a home with an assessed valuation of $100,000. The bond issue is planned to take effect in 2021 and is expected to expire in 10 years. At it’s highest point, the bond issue will cost taxpayers less than they were paying back in 2017 (see first chart below).
- Chart showing past and estimated future levy rates for area homeowners
- Chart showing residential, commercial and agricultural rates for area residents
When and where do people vote?
Registered voters who live in the area served by IVCCD can vote. IVCCD’s service area includes Hardin, Marshall, Poweshiek and Tama Counties, as well as small portions of Butler, Franklin, Grundy, Hamilton, Jasper and Story Counties.
- March 4-22 – Absentee ballot requests can be submitted to the County Auditors by mail or in person. Instructions will be included with your absentee ballot regarding completion, deadline and return of the ballot.
- March 4 to April 1 – Vote in person through your County Auditor.
- Satellite Voting
- Tuesday, March 19 from 9 am – 3 pm at Ellsworth Community College in Iowa Falls (Gentle Student Center) for Hardin County registered voters only.
- Wednesday, March 20 from 9 am – 3 pm at Marshalltown Community College in Marshalltown (Faust Student Union) for Marshall County registered voters only.
- April 2 – Special Election at designated polling places in each county.
What if I have additional questions?
IVCCD welcomes your questions. You can email questions to email@example.com; we will reply as quickly as possible.