West Hills officials say Measure J will expand paramedic, nursing, health science programs at local college

By The Leader Staff
West Hills officials say Measure J will expand paramedic, nursing, health science programs at local college

West Hills College Lemoore officials are counting on Lemoore’s citizens to help the local college build new classrooms and labs to expand its paramedic, nursing, and health science programs by approving  Measure J, a bond issue on November’s ballot.

Lemoore’s voters historically have been kind to the local college over the years, approving bond measures that have created educational opportunities for local students, which according to West Hills Lemoore College President James Preston, would expand a variety of health programs at the local college.  

“If approved, Measure J will fund construction on a new academic building at West Hills College Lemoore,” said Preston.  “The college would also be able to expand our paramedic, nursing, and health science programs and increase career training in computer sciences, visual arts, health sciences, and emergency medical services.”

Measure J is a general obligation (GO) bond measure on the November 8, 2022, general election ballot, and if approved by 55% of district voters cast, will authorize $8.6 million to improve and expand West Hills College Lemoore’s classrooms and facilities.

The best part of the deal is that voter approval of Measure J will allow the district to qualify for $21.9 million in state matching funds.

“The State of California has approved a $21.9 million grant for the construction of the new academic building West Hills College Lemoore,” said Dr. Kristin Clark, West Hills Community College District Chancellor.  “The state funding program requires community college districts to contribute local funds to qualify for these grants. Measure J will provide the local funding required.”

Measure J’s average annual tax rate is estimated to be less than 1cent per $100 of assessed property value while bonds are outstanding, which is projected to be 15 years. The assessed value while bonds are outstanding is the value placed on the property by Fresno or Kings County and is typically lower than market value.

“California community college districts commonly use GO bonds to fund improvement projects, such as constructing and renovating classrooms, said Clark. “Similar to a home loan, GO bonds are repaid over time. Funds to repay the bonds come from a tax on all taxable property – residential, commercial, industrial, and agricultural – located within the district.”

Measure J requires an independent Citizens’ Oversight Committee to review and report on all bond expenditures, and a Certified Public Accountant (C.P.A.) must audit all bond expenditures. Measure J includes a specific list of projects on which bond funds may be spent. Laws prohibit funds from being used for administrators’ salaries, pensions, or benefits. Laws also prohibit the state from taking Measure J funds to spend in other districts.

To learn more about Measure J, visit https://www.westhillscollege.com/measure-j/.
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