By John Neibling, Steven G. Gamble
As presidents of Clovis Community College and Eastern New Mexico University, we want to share why the passage of General Obligation Bond Proposition “B” in the Nov. 7 General Election makes sense for Curry and Roosevelt counties.
Bond “B” is worth approximately $118 million to higher education in New Mexico and $7.5 million for higher education in Curry and Roosevelt counties.
According to 2005 Census figures, the population of New Mexico is 1.93 million with 18,238 citizens in Roosevelt County and 45,846 in Curry County. Even though Curry and Roosevelt counties combined have only 3.3 percent of the state’s population, they would get 6.4 percent of Bond B funds. That is nearly twice their percentage of the state population.
If Bond “B” passes, ENMU will receive $4.5 million to renovate the Music Building and CCC will get $3 million for construction of the Allied Health Building.
The Music Building was constructed in 1957 and is one of the oldest buildings on the ENMU campus. The age of the building and changes in the types of musical performances and instruments underscore the need for substantial renovation.
The marching band and wind symphony, among others, have exceeded their rehearsal space. The renovation would include a substantial addition to provide state-of-the-art facilities for music study, public school teacher training and public cultural events.
The Allied Health Building at CCC would house nursing, radiological technology and EMS programs that will enhance health care for area citizens. It would allow CCC to train and provide more health care professionals to the area, ensuring that citizens will have more of the health care services they need without having to travel out of area.
Enhanced health care should also attract more people to the area.
Bond “B” projects have a positive impart on local economies as the money spent recycles several times. Campus improvements and expansions also help keep CCC and ENMU competitive with other New Mexico and Texas schools. This contributes to enrollment growth in both institutions and more opportunities for the people of our region.
Keeping higher education institutions in Curry and Roosevelt counties competitive encourages more graduating seniors from the area to stay in eastern New Mexico to attend college — often staying to pursue careers and further contribute to the vitality of the area. With a larger tax base, tax rates can be kept lower while such community assets as streets and public schools can be improved.
The cost of Bond “B” to property owners is very reasonable. The estimated cost for a $50,000 home is $5 per year, $10 for a $100,000 home and $15 for a $150,000 home. The net cost to property owners could be lower as older education bonds mature and are retired.
Whether you have a direct stake or not in higher education in Curry and Roosevelt counties, Bond B will benefit you. All citizens can share in enhanced health care, aesthetic enjoyment of upgraded music facilities and the shot in the arm to local economies.
With early voting set to begin Tuesday, please send a message to New Mexico that Curry and Roosevelt counties take back seats to no one when it comes to supporting education.
Bond “B” is a win-win proposition for Clovis Community College, Eastern New Mexico University and citizens of Curry and Roosevelt counties.