BEATRICE – Southeast Community College administrators and board members plan a November 30th workshop to discuss the college master facilities plan, in the wake of a $369 million dollar SCC Bond issue defeat in the November election.
The issue had 68% opposition, which SCC President Dr. Paul Illich was uniform across all 15 counties the school serves. He called it a “very unusual election cycle”, and factors may have included property tax concern, low farm prices, a state budget deficit, a huge jury award against Gage County and others.
:31 “southeast Nebraska”
Illich told the SCC Board of Governors meeting at the Beatrice Campus Tuesday, that the vote outcome doesn’t change the college’s commitment to serving its’ entire area.
Illich, who came to Southeast from McClennan Community College in Texas, says facility projects had similar revenue sources….tuition, state aid and property tax.
:22 “complex effort”
Nebraska community colleges only have property tax authority through bond issues for facilities construction, beyond a two-cent capital construction levy the schools can use.
:46 “want to utilize”
Illich says it’s possible the $369 million figure simply had shock impact, on voters.
:32 “tax impact, was”
Future options could mean implementing elements of the master facilities plan in smaller chunks. Illich says there are several options that will be discussed by the board.
Opposition to the SCC bond issue in the November election ranged from a low of about 64% in Lancaster County, to a high of 86% in Pawnee County. In eight of the college’s fifteen-county service area, opposition surpassed 75%.