Governmental Affairs Committee Votes to Support GAPS School Bond and
Benton County Extension and 4-H District
Your Governmental Affairs Committee (GAC) is meeting two – three times per month during the legislative season. In addition to monitoring and taking positions on legislative bills of interest to the business community they have also met with representatives from the Yes for Kids/GAPS School Bond Committee and with representatives from the proposed Benton County Extension/4-H District. The results and information from those meetings are below.
- Yes for Kids – GAPS School Bond – Measure 22-165: Albany Area Chamber Position – Support
After careful consideration and two meetings of discussion the GAC voted unanimously to support the proposed GAPS Bond with one stipulation, there must be at least one business representative from the GAC on the Bond Oversight Committee. It is never easy to ask businesses, friends and neighbors to increase the amount they are spending on taxes but we believe that the time is right to support the proposed bond and the critical facility upgrades the money will pay for. The GAC has been assured that at least one and probably more Chamber members will be part of the oversight committee.
If you’ve been to any of our local schools you’ve seen first-hand the aging infrastructure of the buildings our children are in nine months of the year, 6 – 8 hours a day. Leaking roofs, worn-out plumbing fixtures, security issues, inadequate technology and bad flooring are just a few of the issues we have in the older worn down buildings. The proposed changes will add space to address overcrowding and future growth (500 students expected in the next 5 years), repair maintenance needs and address operating costs in older, inefficient facilities, and modernize our schools for student learning.
The proposed facility upgrades will include rebuilding/remodeling of middle and high schools to offer vocational/technical classes that are badly needed to help students with CTE and STEM courses that help lay the framework of successful careers in our local industries and businesses. In addition it will provide the resources needed to complete the first phase of WAHS rebuild, build a new elementary school in NE Albany and renovate/add classrooms at Oak Grove Elementary. Vote Yes on 22-165
- Benton County Extension and 4-H District – Measure 2-106: Albany Area Chamber Position – Support
GAC members know the value of quality Extension and 4-H programs with many of them having been in 4-H or using the services of Extension agents and staff for a variety of issues and concerns from home to garden. Many were surprised that Benton County Extension was not supported by a District since we have supported the Linn County Extension District for many years and the two counties are entwined economically, through staff and programs. Vote Yes on 2-106