Shortly we must decide which way to vote on a Clatsop Community College bond issue. Is it really necessary, or is it just something that would be nice, and is wanted? It would be a lot easier if I were not so pro-college. We have been bombarded with so many reasons for abandoning the present facility, and going in debt for the next 21 years, that it has become quite confusing to me, and to almost everyone I've talked with. Let's take an open-minded look at the question.
Towler Hall was built in 1911, and Patriot Hall in about 1922. The balance of the Jerome Avenue campus was built in around the mid-1960s, and on into the 1980s, and all are structurally sound; however, lacking in maintenance. The college commissioned a study to affirm that their desire and need for a new facility could be substantiated, and naturally, that was confirmed.
However, a different study group, who commissioned an independent survey of those same shortcomings of the present facilities found that the listed problems and shortcomings could be addressed and corrected for about $7 million, which is less than one half of the $15 million that the college already has on hand, with no taxes being needed. So it seems to come down to which survey is more objective and accurate.
Now let's look at building a new facility in Warrenton. Who is responsible for building the roads and streets, water, sewer, etc. to access the new campus? A pretty good guess is Warrenton taxpayers. Where did the $60 million cost estimate come from without complete architects' plans or bids? Is that figure a guesstimate? Does anyone know what we get for that $60 million? Remember the local swimming pool projected price, and the Portland tram scam?
Also, is there a reversion clause stating that when the college property is no longer used as a college the title reverts to the city of Astoria? So who gets the money from the sale of the college property? And remember, that $22 million will turn into more like $34 million with the interest added.
I am also wondering about the remodeling at the jail. Will that call for yet another bond?
And are we facing another tax on gasoline to pay for street repairs?
Just exactly when and where is all this going? I am not the only one confused, and I hope the voters of Clatsop County are more sure of the correct vote than I am.
I wonder if anyone is capable of separating the needs from the wants?