The last two failed bond issues failed to pass, costing Clatsop County taxpayers $1.4 million.

As a member of the College Information Group, we have presented valuable information to the college board and to the Clatsop County taxpayers as to the cost of updating Towler and Patriot halls. We have fully achieved the objective that we voluntarily agreed to do, at no costs to the college or to the Clatsop County taxpayers, with no new taxes.

During our tour of the Jerome Avenue campus, we noticed a considerable amount of lack of maintenance to the facilities. We also noticed well over 10,000 square feet of useable building space not presently used. This space is available for upgraded service labs, nursing programs, etc.

The following are items that we agreed to do. We provided local contractors, who voluntarily provided their preliminary cost estimates for Towler/Patriot halls: new roof, plumbing, mechanical, electrical, elevator, paving and a general contractor. The estimated cost was $3,542,237. We added a contingency of 100 percent for a total of $7,084,474 to rebuild with no new taxes. The college presently has available $14 million to accomplish this task.

As per figures provided by the Clatsop County Assessors Department, the present (2007) Real Market Value of the Jerome Avenue college campus is as follows: land - $5,105,317; buildings - $11,585,088, for a total RMV of $16,690,405. The college board informed the public that they have a buyer (not named) for the Jerome Avenue campus for $5.4 million. Apparently, it's like a give-away at the taxpayers' expense.

The view alone is worth $5.4 million, not counting the land and buildings. If and when the Jerome Avenue campus property is placed on the market, it should not be a private sale and all proceeds should go towards paying off the bond issue if passed.

Where is the Astoria historic commission? They argued about a small window replacement on the Portway Tavern a few years ago. Not a peep out of them on the historic Towler/Patriot halls.

The Astoria city mayor, manager and council want the college out of Astoria. Could the un-named prospective "local" purchaser want to put a private school upon the Jerome campus and use the present buildings?

Be sure to vote "No" on the bond issue. No new taxes.

Donald Webb

Astoria

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