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County prepares for local sales tax election

By Staff | May 29, 2008

Specific language and targeted allocations were approved by the Emmet County Board of Supervisors Tuesday for the upcoming sales tax election slated for August.

Passed by majority vote, Resolution No. 08-04 requests the county’s commissioner of elections give county voters a proposition authorizing the imposition of a local sales and service tax in the unincorporated areas of Emmet County at 1 percent.

The board approved that allocations from the tax as follows:

n Fifty percent of the tax would be allocated to the Rural Services Fund.

n Fifty percent would be allocated for new and continuing county betterment programs and projects.

If passed, the measure will take effect on Thursday, Jan. 1, 2009.

Coming before the board was Dr. Harold Prior, president of Iowa Lakes Community College. “We want to inform people what Iowa Lakes does and offers.”

The college has 116 programs of study compared to Kirkwood Community College which offers 100.

Prior addressed the new agreement with Iowa State University–an admission partnership between the two institutions. One major perk is an onsite personal ISU advisor. He noted the University of Iowa has the same type of program which is directly linked to Iowa Lakes’ Spencer campus.

Discussing student enrollment, Prior noted 2,000 of the 4,000 total enrollment are involved in the traditional “face-to-face” instruction in the classroom setting.

Another 25 percent involves about 1,000 high school students who are completing college classes. The remaining students fall into the online sector of learning.

Academic success indicators place Iowa Lakes at the top as it received the highest marks of those participating Iowa community colleges.

The completion rate for students at Iowa Lakes is 13 percent higher than other Iowa community colleges and Prior said most employers are very pleased with employees who have earned Iowa Lakes diplomas.

“College visits are up by 44 percent,” he said, noting the excitement surrounding the new wrestling program which will be implemented by fall.

It is the college’s hope to break the 4,000 head count.

In his weekly report, county Engineer Roger Patocka said crews continue to haul gravel. Tile and culvert work is also being completed.

In other matters, the board:

n Approved the Automarks contract for voting machines.

n OK’d the request for extra help for the county treasurer’s office.

n Announced there would be no supervisor meeting scheduled on Tuesday, June 3 due to the Iowa Primary Election.