Southeast Community College leaders are taking another look at the school’s facilities master plan after voters rejected a $369 million bond issue.
SCC President Paul Illich says property tax concerns, low commodity prices, and a state budget deficit likely influenced voters.
A positive outcome, according to Illich, was being able to share the story of SCC with people throughout the 15 counties it serves.
“The opposition was very supportive of the college and they understood how important we are to providing a qualified workforce and an affordable option, so (the vote outcome) wasn’t about that,” Illich tells Nebraska Radio Network affiliate KWBE. “It was about this idea that property taxes are something that needs to be addressed in southeast Nebraska.”
Illich says the $369 million price tag overshadowed the fact that the bond would have had the smallest tax impact in the history of Nebraska.
The money would have paid for new buildings and renovation projects throughout the 15 counties SCC serves.
Illich says one option is implementing the plan in smaller chunks.
“We’re going to sit down with (board members) at the end of the month and see how they want to move forward, what kind of funding mechanisms they want to utilize,” Illich says.
The Southeast Community College board is meeting November 30th to discuss its next steps.
Doug Kennedy, KWBE, contributed to this story.