Arizona Western College is to refinance its bond with lower interest rates and save taxpayers around $2.2 million over the next 20 years, according to AWC Governing Board members Randy Hartless and Melissa Wright.
The savings will be returned to taxpayers over the term of the bond, rather than go into the AWC budget.
The board members say there are changes being made that will bring much more of La Paz County taxpayers’ money back to the county in 2013.
“We’re working hard to ensure that La Paz County taxpayers get their money’s worth,” said Wright. “We’re excited about the projects that are in the planning stages for La Paz County and look forward to some great things happening in the near future.”
One of those things is a $1.6 million allocation to repair and renovate the old Parker campus building, known as the John Deere Building. A committee of La Paz County residents headed up by Rich Tozer has been formed to plan on the renovation and future use of the building, which will be decided in Parker rather than in Yuma.
There are also plans for a redesign of the front of the new AWC building to allow for more parking, steps and a new entrance to the front doors. Interior doors have been fixed so they are no longer a safety hazard, one of the problems cited with the new building by AWC staff.
The Yuma campus recently held ‘Let’s Go To College Day’, which was attended by 5th Graders from La Paz County. “It was great to see the excitement on all the faces of our local kids,” Wright commented. “Statistics show if you can get young people onto a college campus 3 times between grades 5 and 12, they are much more likely to attend college after high school. It’s great to see the AWC campuses collaborating for the benefit of our youth.”
Hartless addressed the concern about finances of the community, saying: “We understand there’s some concern regarding the tax rates in La Paz County. But I want to tell taxpayers we are doing a lot to bring more quality services to our area. We are so fortunate to have a college campus in such a rural community.”
AWC President Glenn Mayle visited Parker Thursday, attending Rotary events and meetings at La Paz campus.