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What is a referendum?

A public referendum is a vote to either adopt or reject a new project, policy, or law. In the case of CVTC, the referendum question will ask voters in the College's 11-county district for the authority to borrow money to support the expansion and construction of CVTC facilities to support local workforce needs.

By state law, the amount of money CVTC can spend on new buildings, additions, or land acquisition without going to voters is limited to $1.5 million per campus every two years. Any new buildings, additions, or land acquisition beyond the cap (not funded through gifts, grants, or federal funds) must be approved by voters in a public referendum.

Why are the proposed projects necessary?

After carefully reviewing the current college facility needs for the past several years, we have determined that:

Demand For Space Exceeds Current Capacity
Due to increased student enrollment, the existing College facilities are not capable of adequately accommodating and training our students in several key industry areas. Transportation, manufacturing, construction, have outgrown their current spaces and require modernized solutions moving forward. Also, the campuses serving our regional community members require facilities upgrades.

Area Employers Depend on CVTC
Due to the overall national workforce shortage, regional employers are in desperate need of qualified workers - those with advanced skills for today’s globally competitive economy. Chippewa Valley Technical College is a crucial contributor to keep our local business community thriving. For many years our college has worked closely with our industry partners to solve their technology, equipment, and space needs, but as we look to the future there are continuing areas of need that must be addressed to support the continuing education demands of the community and enrollment.

Program Expansion Supports Regional Job Growth
At Chippewa Valley Technical College, educational programs are required to show substantial necessity and results before proceeding with significant infrastructure investments. In addition to current enrollment demands, the program areas represented in the proposed projects have been through a rigorous analysis of industry growth projections. The suggested expansions intended to address future industry growth and serve the ultimate goal of putting skilled local community members into the workforce.

What is being proposed?

The referendum is broken into four main components:

  • Transportation Education Center Construction
    Our plan calls for spending $29.8 million to create a new Transportation Education Center to train current and future generations of technicians and drivers in the transportation field. We will build a facility sized for the modern equipment used today and combine our programs in one facility to increase collaboration and efficiency.
  • Emergency Service Education Center Expansion & Remodel
    Our plan calls for a $9.5 million expansion and renovation that will better prepare graduates and local public safety professionals for service to the community. This will allow for enhanced opportunities for continuing education for emergency service agencies and extended opportunities for community education courses.
  • Manufacturing Education Center Addition
    Our plan calls to spend $3 million on the creation of an Automated Fabrication Lab space and an area for a laser cutter for welding fabrication. We will update the current space to include a new computer lab and modernize the facility to meet current industry trends and standards.
  • Additional Campus Renovations & Expansions
    Create, remodel, and update spaces to modernize and solidify the learning environments for our students and provide safe campus locations for continuing education opportunities in our communities.

What is the projected tax impact to district property owners?

The total cost of the proposed projects will not exceed $48.8 million and payments will be finalized within 21 years. The projected tax impact on property owners is estimated to be $8.55/year (or $0.71/month) for each $100,000 of equalized property value.

This the second time CVTC has posed a referendum to its district. In 1998 a referendum was passed when the taxpayers agreed to fund projects totaling $10 million. That amount was paid off in eight years, prior to the full amortization period.

What is the long-term tax impact?

Similar to a mortgage payment for a home loan, the College would borrow to complete projects over the next three years and the tax impact over the next 15-20 years would be reflective of the amount of these borrowings. The projects assume multiple borrowings amortized over 21 years using planning interest rates of 3.75% - 4%. Estimated impacts are based on 2018 Equalized Valuation (TID-OUT) of $24,723,807,042 with no annual growth thereafter.

The borrowing would not exceed the amount proposed in the referendum question of $48.8 million dollars which would be spread over the 11-county district resulting in an estimated $8.55 per year ($0.71 per month) for each $100,000 of property value.

Calculate your tax impact

Why doesn’t the College increase tuition to cover the project costs?

Chippewa Valley Technical College is dedicated to providing a quality, affordable education for our community members. The Wisconsin Technical College System sets the tuition rate each year for all technical colleges in the state. CVTC does not have the discretion to raise or lower tuition rates for any purpose.

Why is a referendum necessary to fund these projects?

The amount of money CVTC can spend on new buildings, additions, or land acquisition is determined by state law. The College is limited to $1.5 million at each campus over a two-year period without obtaining voter approval. Any new buildings, additions, or land acquisition beyond the $1.5M cap (not funded through gifts, grants, or federal funds) must be approved by voters in a public referendum.

If the referendum passes, will any of the funds be used for salary or benefits for employees?

No, this is a capital project and no funds will be used for salaries or benefits.