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$326 Million College Bond Goes To Voters

The voters will get to decide the fate of a $326-million bond measure this coming November.

Yosemite Community College District officials say the “Local Community College Repair and Overcrowding Measure” will help fund projects and acquire property to improve facilities at Columbia College and Modesto Junior College.

The district´s board of trustees all agreed last night to put the measure on the upcoming ballot.

A large number of folks representing Tuolumne County turned out in Modesto last night to support the measure.

Former Sonora Mayor Marlee Powell spoke to the trustees, and said Columbia College teaches trainee firefighters in a unique way.

City council member and former Sonora educator Liz Bass told the Board that community colleges like Columbia College mean a lot to the communities they serve.

California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection training director Craig Conklin told the trustees Columbia College´s wildfire training program is successful, unique and needs to grow.

To pass, the bond measure will need a 55 percent approval of the voters who reside in the college district. The district would request up to $25 per $100,000 of assessed property valuation, or in other words, the taxable value of property on the county tax roles.

If passed by the voters, college officials say the money would allow for $55 million to be earmarked for repairs and upgrades at Columbia College and would help establish a permanent college education center in Calaveras County.

AM 1450 KVML News Anchor Sebastian Kunz contributed to this story.