MPTC District Board Approves Referendum 

The Moraine Park Technical College District Board voted to approve the final ballot language Wednesday, allowing the College to move forward with a $55 million referendum in the November election. 

The referendum would allow Moraine Park to borrow funds to update and expand Moraine Park facilities to meet the needs of business and industry in the region through four major projects between 2022 and 2025. 

  • Advanced Manufacturing and Trades – Fond du Lac County – Enhancement 
  • Manufacturing, Automation and Robotics Lab – Washington County – Expansion 
  • Fire Training Facility – Location TBD – New Construction 
  • Health and Human Services Facility – Fond du Lac County – Enhancement 

“Education is the key to economic growth in any community,” Bonnie Baerwald, Moraine Park president, said. “Workforce growth is what will change our community, and as a technical college, we are the change agents. This referendum is vital to making change and growth happen at a time when technology and automation are influencing industry so rapidly.”  

Moraine Park intends to update and expand facilities to: 

  • Respond to the growing workforce shortages.  
  • Accommodate evolving industry expectations.  
  • Address evolving technology, including in the areas of automation and robotics.  
  • Provide greater access to all district communities.  
  • Align with community expectations and workforce training requirements.  
  • Prepare students and workforces of the future.  

The funding request by MPTC is spread out across the four major district counties, making the financial impact per taxpayer minimal; the adjustments are not permanent, making the impact a temporary adjustment for taxpayers. Under the proposed $55 million facilities enhancement plan, annual property taxes would increase by .21 cents per $1,000 of property value or $21 per $100,000 of property value ($1.75 per month) for no more than 20 years.  

“We need to invest in this kind of growth either way,” Jim Eden, Moraine Park vice president of teaching and learning, said. “If a referendum passes, we will accelerate Moraine Park’s ability to grow by about 15 years. If it does not, it will take the College 15 years to catch up.”  

Under state law, technical colleges must hold referendums before completing capital projects with a cost of more than $1.5 million. The referendum must earn a majority vote across all four major district counties, which include Dodge, Fond du Lac, Green Lake and Washington. 

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Written by Kristina Haensgen
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