Camdenton voters will decide whether or not to annex school district into Ozarks Technical Community College

Published: May. 29, 2020 at 6:09 PM CDT
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The question posed by Dr. Tim Hadfield, Superintendent of the Camdenton R-3 School District sounds simple enough for people who live around the Lake of the Ozarks.

"Would you like a community college, a comprehensive community college within the school district's boundaries," asked Hadfield.

Voters will decide on Tuesday whether or not to annex the school district into the Ozarks Technical Community College, and in turn, get reduced tuition for classes at OTC, and a brand new campus at the Lake of the Ozarks.

Nothing's ever free.

To get the campus to the Camdenton area, personal property taxes would have to go up 20 cents per $100 of assessed property value.

That's about $40 dollars a year for a home assessed at $100,000.

Not everyone is on board. The president of State Fair Community College says they're already offering a lot of education options to the Lake area, all without taxpayer funding.

"When you look at a community the size of Camdenton and the Lake, that that region can support two community colleges. It's not likely," said Dr. Joanna Anderson.

Anderson said a lot of students from the area are able to take general education courses at low cost, and she said it has the highest rated nursing program in the state. She worries that could take a hit.

"We're providing a number of the nurses, registered nurses, practical nurses that provide the Lake area," Anderson said. "That's a big one."

Hadfield said since OTC would have a full campus at the Lake, it could offer more job training than State Fair, which just operates a building in Osage Beach.

"A comprehensive campus would have additional training and offerings that those sites don't have," Hadfield said.

State Fair disagrees.

"We have been doing workforce training and it doesn't require a full blown, brand new campus to make that available to business and industry," Anderson said.

A location for the proposed campus has not been selected.

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