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Nixon tells about college equipment levy

August 1, 2014
By Michael Tidemann - Staff Writer , Estherville News

Estherville Rotarians Thursday heard how continuing the Iowa Lakes Community College equipment replacement levy will help the college fund technology train employees for the future.

Dave Nixon, former college president and now retained by the college foundation to inform the public about the levy renewal, and current college president Valerie Newhouse told Rotarians how the levy helps fund technology at the college. Voters approved the levy 10 years ago and will vote again Sept. 9 on its renewal. After Nixon retired from a college presidency in Michigan last August and returned to Emmetsburg, the college retained him to help promote renewal of the levy.

"I was honored to be asked to come back and lead the charge on that," said Nixon. He said the levy amounts to $3.26 on a $100,000 home.

"It's really critical that people get out to vote," said Newhouse.

In a question-and-answer session that followed, Rotarians learned the levy generates $300,000 yearly - an amount that doesn't pay for all technology but which helps preserve spending money from the general fund on technology. Every college program is impacted by the levy.

Money raised by the levy helped pay for the new college TV system, also leveraging another $600,000 in federal money to extend the system to nine area high schools.

Rotarians also heard about the SERT building scheduled for a 9:30 a.m. Aug. 28 grand opening. The building will house the nacelle previously stored outdoors and offer height safety training. The building will also house the water quality and electrical programs and house WindTest, a German company that's already hired Iowa Lakes graduates. The Snap-On company also donated $100,000 in cash and $20,000 to the program. Solar panels will also be used in the facility.

"These are recession-proof careers," Newhouse said of the programs to be housed in the SERT building.

Nixon said people can start voting absentee as early as next week on the levy issue.



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