We all know that the Board of Trustees at NIC has refused to consider any suggestions or concerns from the general public. And that they’ve ignored input and advice from area legislators and business leaders as well.
Now, with the serious economic downturn and the significant drop in state tax revenues, we can hope NIC will reconsider some of their plans. That is what State Representative Frank Henderson believes when he says, “It is my opinion that changed conditions justify changed decisions.”
Rep. Henderson has been a long-time promoter of diverse programs at NIC. He sits on the Joint Finance & Appropriations Committee in Boise, where some of his primary budget responsibilities include Community Colleges and Professional/Technical Education. He has been championing the creation of a much-needed Dental Hygiene program, along with other degrees and certifications at NIC. Frank is concerned that now, with state monies critically tight, programs at NIC will not expand because of the board’s decision to spend $10 million on the purchase the mill site land.
"Curriculum expansion should not be placed on hold while vacant land is being paid for”, Rep. Henderson said.
He suggests the NIC board push their financing of the land out to an eight year payback schedule, thus decreasing the yearly payment and freeing money for new programs to help people get jobs.
I would also hope NIC will renegotiate the price of the land, in view of the drastic drop in real estate values, saving even more.
Please watch for Rep. Henderson’s excellent Guest Editorial in the CdA Press soon, I hope.