To The Editor:

In response to “SCC needs a plan before seeking money” published on Sept. 25 and submitted by Paul Harper of Warrenton, I would like to share some information as a leader in support of Prop J.

The leadership group supporting Prop J and the administrators of St. Charles Community College (SCC) have created a plan to support needed technical training in Warren County after surveys showed a current and future need for trained technical workers in our county. If the proposition passes on Nov. 5, SCC will provide academic programs initially in advanced manufacturing, transportation and logistics, agriculture technology, and industrial maintenance and controls. Training will take place in leased store-front locations until sometime in the future when a Warren County advisory group will work with SCC to determine the best location for a permanent space.

If approved, the tax rate is not expected to increase in subsequent years from $0.1666. In fact, it will likely decrease as property values increase due to Missouri’s Hancock Amendment. The cost of the new tax is 16.66 cents per $100 of assessed valuation of personal property. The average home value in Warren County is $160,000. For that homeowner, the tax would cost 98-cents per week, $4.25 per month, or $51 per year.

And, every dollar raised in Warren County will stay in Warren County. The SCC Board of Trustees demonstrated its guarantee of this by passing a resolution confirming this at a spring 2019 meeting of the board. When community colleges are assigned to geographical regions they are assigned according to K-12 school districts and SCC has been assigned to Warren County R-3 and Wright City R-2 school districts — and that’s why registered voters of those two districts will have the opportunity to vote on an affordable option for technical training on Nov. 5.

County residents who attend classes at the center in Warren County will receive in-district rates for credit classes. That’s a difference of $53 per credit hour. For a student taking a full schedule of classes, 15 credit hours, that difference adds up to nearly $800 per semester.

Since a fast-track to education was noted, we should share that high school graduates are not the only students who will benefit from the regional technical center. Adults 25 years of age and older who do not have a bachelor’s degree may be eligible for the new Missouri Fast-Track grant that will provide scholarships to eligible residents.

The Fast Track Workforce Incentive Grant is a new financial aid program for non-traditional students that addresses workforce needs by helping adults pursue a certificate, degree or industry-recognized credential in an area designated as high need. The program offers flexibility by providing assistance to part-time and full-time students. Learn more at www.stchas.edu/fasttrack or at the Missouri Department of Higher Education Fast Track Overview.

Rich Barton

Warrenton

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