BCCC needs the bond money
Published 5:59 pm Friday, February 26, 2016
To the Editor,
You can make a difference in North Carolina, Beaufort County and in your own life. How? Vote “Yes” on the Connect NC bond referendum. This $2 billion bond will “connect North Carolina to the 21st century through statewide investments in education, parks, safety, recreation, and water/sewer infrastructure” (Connect.nc.gov).
North Carolina’s community colleges are essential to our state’s continued economic growth and opportunity. Beaufort County Community College (BCCC) provides affordable and practical education to people across our service area, prepares young people for the workforce and helps retrain older workers to compete in today’s economy.
BCCC would be awarded over $6.5 million. This money is vital for repairs, renovation and modernization of our external infrastructure to meet Americans with Disabilities Act requirements. Additionally, bond funds will build a vital Public Safety Training Complex where firefighters, emergency medical technicians and law enforcement officers can train in a state-of-the-art facility without traveling outside our area.
The labor market impact is enormous! Projections for the BCCC service area show over 90 new jobs for which the Public Safety Complex would prepare employees. Including the six counties surrounding Beaufort County, these projections predict over 530 new jobs over the next 10 years. We will see more jobs retained, more job promotions and the economic impact of increased earnings. The economic impact report states that, “for every $1 of public money invested in BCCC, taxpayers receive a cumulative value of $2.90 over the course of the students’ working lives.”
Connect NC provides $328 million for higher education, of which $139 million goes toward community colleges and $189 million goes toward UNC schools. In addition, it provides $24 million for state parks and $9 million for public safety. With interest rates being so low, many are trying to capitalize by refinancing their homes. Why should our state miss out on this great opportunity? Learn more about this bond and consider its huge impact on Beaufort County and the state of North Carolina.
Impressively, this bond improves these facilities without any need for a tax increase, so we gain amazing benefits with no additional money out of taxpayers’ pockets. It will upgrade facilities that are long overdue for improvement, which is why it is so critical we fund these projects now.
There is no down side in voting “Yes” for this bond. The BCCC Board of Directors and the BCCC Foundation Board of Trustees have voted unanimously to adopt a resolution in support this bond. Now it’s your turn — we need your affirmative vote to make this happen! Vote “Yes” for the bond referendum on March 15.
Laura L. Staton
Chairman, Beaufort County Community College Board of Trustees