This is an open letter from the Greene County Development Corp in support of the local school bond initiative. Our membership and board strongly support this project because of its significant impact on the economic development of Greene County. Many residents only see the bond initiative as a means of improving our educational system but do not understand how critical it is for the continued growth of our county.
Any new business or family looking at relocating usually has a list of requirements for their new location. Multiple studies have shown that other than housing the three most important factors in choosing a new location are medical facilities, school and day care. The current bond initiative addresses two of those three and would position Greene County as a growing community with new attractive educational facilities and an expanding day care center that can handle an increasing population. Young families always consider their kids first and if the educational facilities and day care are not adequate they will look elsewhere.
New businesses also require updated schools and day care to attract new employees to their business. When recruiting Hy-Vee they did an extensive review of our educational facilities and day care availability. Initially they felt our day care was not adequate for future growth but the community supported the Early Learning Center and they expanded enough to satisfy Hy-Vee. With the improvements provided by the bond funds the Early Learning Center could expand their facilities within their current building and address the future growth needs for at least the next few years.
The school system is critical for providing the best possible education for our children but it is also important to remember what an important economic development tool it is for our community. We cannot grow without providing the educational facilities and day care that meet the needs of young families and businesses looking to relocate. We have been very successful in attracting new businesses to our community over the past few years but we are at a point where both our educational facilities and day care need to be upgraded to continue our growth.
The cost of the bond initiative should not be viewed only in absolute numbers. The new facilities and expanded day care will generate new tax revenue from families and businesses moving to our community. Economic development generated by the new facilities and expanded day care helps all our residents by dispersing the tax burden over a larger base. We not only benefit from new residents and businesses but also have the increased tax income to improve our community.
The school bond initiative helps our community in multiple ways: improved education, more rounded/experienced students because of their access to superior facilities, economic development through the attraction of new families and new businesses, and an expanded tax base for improvements to our community.
Ken Paxton, executive director, Greene County Development Corp and the Greene County Development Corp board