Trustees for the Northern Wyoming Community College District made the right choice when the group voted unanimously Monday to put a bond measure before the voters later this year.
The special election, planned for Aug. 20, will allow Sheridan County residents to consider the general obligation bond worth $15.85 million the college says it needs to construct, furnish, equip and improve the Technical Education Center, which was built in 1977.
Whether or not the measure passes — and for the sake of the community it should — the college would never get the money if it didn’t ask. So why not ask?
The bond measure would have a fairly small impact on Sheridan County residents’ wallets.
It is estimated that the measure would result in a $1.92 per month increase for every $100,000 of a property’s value. Most people spend more than that on coffee each week, let alone each month.
Over the 16 years it is expected the taxes will be collected over, property owners will pay less than $370 for every $100,000 of property value.
There likely is not a better place locally that the money could be invested.
The college has not asked for this kind of help in a few decades.
Over those same years, the institution that has given so much to the Sheridan community has received millions of dollars in private funding.
It is the taxpayers’ turn to ante up.
Sheridan College is one of our largest employers — 361 employees according to the school earlier this spring.
A healthy, growing community college can help increase the workforce and therefore the tax base in any given community.
There likely is no way to put into monetary terms the return on investment taxpayers could see from the expansion of SC’s Technical Education Center.
But, one addage said over and over again is that Wyoming’s biggest export is its youth.
This project is one way to keep our youth here in Sheridan and provide them with decent-paying jobs.
Vote in support of the general bond issue that will appear on the ballot Aug. 20.