Lake Tahoe Community College will ask local voters this year to approve the issuing of up to $55 million in general obligation bonds in order to repair, renovate, equip and construct facilities in the college district.
After talking about issuing bonds to improve school facilities for more than a year, the college, through the Board of Trustees, voted unanimously Tuesday to move forward with a bond election.
LTCC now has until July 2 to submit the necessary paperwork to the El Dorado County elections office so a measure can be placed on the Nov. 4 ballot.
“This bond language feels very anticlimactic after a whole year of hard work on this project,” said LTCC President Kindred Murillo, moments before the board made its decision, “but I’m sitting here going, ‘wow, here it is.’”
The bond language, according to an abbreviation of the measure, will ask voters if they think LTCC should issue up to $55 million in bonds to upgrade college facilities, expand access to university courses, modernize academic classrooms, improve safety and energy efficiency and more.
Bond money would be used for the creation of a Public Safety Training Center, which would provide job training and continuing education for a variety of careers in public safety.
It also would help fund several other projects, including renovating existing space to provide a University Center and constructing an Early Learning Center and an Environmental Studies and Sustainability Center.
According to the college, the only way to make these projects become a reality is to pursue funding through sources other than state. This time, that source is local taxpayers.
“The State of California hasn’t provided adequate funding in recent years to keep up with increasing inflationary costs and local needs,” according to a resolution written by the college, “and the Board can no longer rely on Sacramento to provide the primary funding for the college’s capital improvement priorities.”
At least 55 percent of voters need to approve the measure in order for it to pass.
If approved, the tax rate levied to meet the debt service requirements of the bonds — which has not been determined at this time — would not be allowed to exceed $25 per year per $100,000 of assessed property value.
The average assessed property value in the district is approximately $262,000, according to Aaron McVean, interim executive director at LTCC.
Now that the board has approved a bond election, Trustee Frederick “Fritz” Wenck, Jr. said he is hoping for the best moving forward.
“I wish to congratulate Kindred for all the work she’s done to bring this forward to this point,” he said at the meeting. “Let’s hope we have success from this point on.”