The Reporter covers Miller, Morgan and Camden County in Central Missouri's Lake of the Ozarks and is published once per week on Wednesdays.

 

Published October 24, 2019

School approves OTC ballot question


CAMDENTON – The Camdenton School District has voted to place a measure on the ballot that would eventually raise taxes for those living in the Camdenton School District for Ozarks Technical Community College (OTC).

OTC gave presentations to the city of Camdenton in July and the City of Osage Beach in October on their desire to come to the Lake of the Ozarks Area.

That desire has a price and that price will be higher taxes but they won’t be asking for the tax, the school district will.

At the October Camdenton School Board of Education meeting, the board voted to call a special election to place a question on the ballot of “whether the Camdenton Reorganized School District No. R-3 of Camden County, Missouri, should become a part of Ozarks Technical Community College.”

The tax will be placed on the ballot by local schools who are interested (in this came Camdenton School District). If approved by voters, then OTC will come into the area and construct a facility and be able to “serve” the Camdenton School District.

A resolution approved by the City of Camdenton in July explains what will have to take place before OTC would come into the area with a local branch of the college.

The Chancellor of Ozark Technical College, Dr. Higdon, submitted a handout at that meeting on the possibility of a $15-20 million OTC Campus within the Camdenton School District.

Interested citizens included the Lake Regional Hospital CEO, School Superintendent, other area school superintendents, school board and Chamber board members.

The idea would be that OTC would place a $.20 tax levy per $100 in assessed valuation within the Camdenton School District for, not only a new campus but reduced tuition for In-District students.

State Fair Community College (SFCC) has been in the lake area for a number of years and has not asked for a tax increase to fund their college.

OTC, however, requires that in order to come into the lake area.

But since the school district will ask for the tax increase, OTC relies on them to get the tax approved. No approval, no OTC.

The Camdenton Mayor met with State Fair representatives and heard a State Fair Presentation at a LOREDC Meeting.

For SFCC to build a campus within the district and provide a reduction In-District student tuition, State Fair would have to submit to the voters a $.4113 tax levy per $100 in assessed valuation.

OTC, through the school district, is only asking for 20 cents per $100 assessed valuation.

At the July 2 Camdenton Board of Alderman meeting, the board approved the resolution which stated:

Camdenton Resolution of Support
WHEREAS, the City of Camdenton recognizes private and public benefits of higher education are the building blocks of a vibrant society, a thriving economy and a good quality of life for all Missourians; and
WHEREAS, Postsecondary education provides individuals with the knowledge and skills they need to be economically independent and intellectually engaged. More Missourians than ever before are earning a degree or certificate; however, more must be done to give all students an opportunity to acquire the knowledge and skills that can help them succeed in a rapidly changing world; and
WHEREAS, Ozarks Technical College anticipates investing approximately $15-20 million in a Lake of the Ozarks Campus and select campus programming in collaboration with community leaders; and
WHEREAS, Ozarks Technical College anticipates offering programs like welding, marine repair, medical assisting nursing and teaching; and
WHEREAS, the City of Camdenton recognizes that support for quality higher education for all students is an investment in the financial and economic future of our community.

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED BY THE BOARD OF ALDERMEN OF THE
CITY OF CAMDENTON, MISSOURI, AS FOLLOWS:
Section 1 - The City of Camdenton supports and invites Ozark Technical College to pursue a tax levy of $.20 per $100 in assessed valuation that will be on the ballot April 7, 2020, general election, and further encourages citizens within the proposed taxing district to vote in favor of this investment.
Section 2 - The Mayor and City Clerk are hereby authorized to sign and send letters of support.

The vote (and whatever the tax increase will be) should be voted on early in 2020.

The location of the campus, if approved, is currently unknown and will be up to OTC.

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