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Community College: A Gift To The Region

By Staff | Jan 19, 2016

Letter to the Editor:

Iowa Lakes Community College, a gift to the region, and why the Iowa Lakes Bond issue is worthy of your support.

Many years ago I attended Emmetsburg Junior College. Our classes were held in what is now called the old junior high. The fact that I was able to live at home and pay less than $100.00 per semester in tuition allowed me to attend Junior College for two years and then transfer to Mankato State College and complete a four year degree. I look back on that experience and realize what a gift I was given because of the Junior College system. Thanks to Jack Kibbie and other state and local leaders the idea of a solid, affordable and local higher educational system was created in the form of community colleges. High School students today can earn free college credits while attending high school. At today’s cost of higher education a motivated student can earn an Associate Arts degree from our local community college while finishing their high school education. This opportunity could potentially save $20,000, $30,000 or $40,000 in tuition costs and living expenses.

Our community college is an economic development gift to the region. Students live here, spend money here and many stay here to become a vital part of our communities. The staff and faculty are a large part of our community work force and a vital component of our community leadership.

The gift given to all of us 50 years ago is in need of some much needed updating and remodeling work to prepare for the next 50 years. You will be asked to vote to increase your property taxes by just over $11.00 per $100,000 of taxable value. The tax expires in 15 years, the good it does will live on far into the future. My yes vote on the bond referendum Tuesday February 2nd will be a small thanks for the gift given to me and many others over 50 years ago.

Respectfully submitted by:

(signed) Pete Hamilton

Emmetsburg, IA