Building trades, labor council back Mt. Hood Community College bond effort

Labor unions are backing a $75 million bond measure at Mt. Hood Community College (MHCC). The Northwest Oregon Labor Council and the Columbia Pacific Building Trades Council both endorsed Measure 96-120 with unanimous support from their affiliated unions. The measure is on the May Special District Election ballot.

The $75 million general obligation (GO) bond will fund a number of projects, including:

  • Building a new Workforce and Applied Technology Center on the Gresham campus, which would house laboratories and classrooms, and expand the college’s efforts in providing applied technology careers.
  • Upgrading and improving the college’s safety and security infrastructure, including the use of new technologies, and seismic upgrades and retrofitting to protect against earthquakes.
  • Securing $8 million in state matching funds to be used for additional support for the Workforce and Applied Technology Center.
  • Freeing up more operating funds by refinancing existing capital obligations.

An oversight committee, made up in part by community and business leaders, would be required to oversee the funds to ensure they are spent correctly.

If voters approve Measure 96-120, it would be the first time new money would come to the college since a $6 million bond passed in 1974. Last May, voters rejected a $125 million GO bond.

For the average homeowner, the bond’s impact would be determined by the assessed value of their house — not the market value. The estimated tax rate per $100,000 of assessed value is $23. The cost to a typical homeowner with an as home value of $200,000 would be $46 per year.

The MHCC campus opened in 1966 at 26000 SE Stark St., Gresham. Today it has a student population of more than 25,000. It employs 1,200 faculty and offers 120 degree and certificate programs.

Ballots must be received at county election offices by 8 p.m. on Tuesday, May 16.

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