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Voters approve CVTC plan to address workforce needs

College president thanks public for support

Chippewa Valley Technical College (CVTC) leaders are expressing their thanks to voters in the 11-county district for their approval of a $48.8 million referendum, allowing the college to move forward with facilities plans to address workforce needs of the region.

Results of the April 7 election were released Monday evening, April 13. In unofficial results, voters approved the referendum by a margin of 62 to 38%, with 326 of 330 precincts reporting. The vote count was 45,407 yes to 27,499 no, for a total margin of almost 18,000 votes.

“We are grateful for the support of the voters, who recognized that education is vital to the economic health of the region throughout various stages of the economy,” said Bruce Barker, president of CVTC. “We are dedicated to our mission to provide applied education that leads to quality of life, satisfying careers and a productive workforce. The voters’ approval will enable us to better meet the needs of the area.”

Passage of the referendum means CVTC can proceed with construction of a Transportation Education Center, an addition and remodeling of the Emergency Service Education Center, the addition of an Automated Fabrication Lab at the Manufacturing Education Center, and purchase of land and site improvements adjacent to the River Falls Campus. Also included in the referendum is remodeling at the Menomonie Campus, science labs at the Chippewa Falls and River Falls campuses, and development of mobile labs.

The property tax impact of the approval of the referendum is an average $13 per year tax increase on $100,000 of equalized property value.

The projects are slated to be completed over a threeyear period, with most construction taking place in 2022 and 2023. Phase one will consist of purchase of the River Falls property, completion of the Automated Fabrication Lab and development of mobile labs. The original plans may need to be adjusted, but CVTC still plans to complete the projects within three years.

“This is a good investment for the entire district,” said Paul Bauer, chairman of the CVTC district board. “The projects proposed are targeted for specific needs in the workforce. This is even more important as the area recovers from the unexpected downturn we are experiencing. We are thankful to the voters who understand how important CVTC is to all aspects of our economy and our communities.”