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Iowa Lakes OKs budget

By Staff | Feb 21, 2008

The Board of Trustees of Iowa Lakes Community College held a public hearing Tuesday afternoon on the 2009 fiscal year budget for the college.

The planned published budget of $38.37 million was approved by the trustees. Property valuations in the five-county area covered by the college have increased slightly. The increase will generate additional funds for the general and plant fund as well as the equipment replacement funds. There will be a slight increase in the levy requested this year, due in part to the previously approved early retirement program. The per $1,000 property tax valuation rate for fiscal year 2009 will be $.75827 compared with this year’s rate of $.73979. Less than 4 percent of the general fund budget comes from property taxes.

The Iowa Lakes Report featured the fast-growing Wind Energy and Turbine Technology program. Instructor Al Zeitz – who has been with the program since its inception – talked about the new building addition as well as remodeling of the facility used by the Wind Energy students. Zeitz also shared that students in the program are “in demand” when they graduate due to the excellent education the students receive at Iowa Lakes.

Zeitz says that superb education shows in the earnings students receive once they graduate – with students earning $17 to $25 per hour to start. That is likely to increase as the wind industry continues to grow in the United States as well as around the world.

Two students attended the meeting and shared with the trustees their own personal reasons for selecting the Wind Energy program and why they want to be a part of this industry.

In addition, Zeitz told the trustees that he is currently working on a potential articulation agreement with the University of Iowa that will provide seamless transition for students in the program who pursue a bachelor’s degree at Iowa.

Two other instructors, Craig Evert and Ahmad Hemami, also spoke with the trustees. The fourth instructor, Mike Schmidt, spoke at Ag Outlook in Spencer on Tuesday and was unable to attend.

In other news, Executive Director of Economic Development, Clark Marshall, addressed the board about 260 E and 260 F Training agreements.

The agreements for Farmers Coop Elevator in Ruthven and Stylecraft/Klaussner of Milford were approved.

Also during the meeting, the trustees shared reports on state and local organizations.

The next meeting of the Iowa Lakes Board of Trustees is scheduled for Tuesday, March 18, in Estherville.