Technical college hopes referendum will pass to expand programming

Residents will vote on $4 million referendum for Blackhawk Technical College
Technical college hopes referendum will pass to expand programming

A $4 million college referendum in Rock County is gaining support from local organizations.

Blackhawk Technical College officials said they have been working around funding cuts since 2011, and now they’re asking for the community to approve funding to help expand programs available to students.

The proposed referendum for the August ballot would surpass the school’s levy limit annually by $4 million.

The Greater Beloit Chamber of Commerce and Beloit Economic Development Corp. have expressed their support for the referendum because of the college’s impact on the workforce.

BTC President Tom Eckert said they have cut $4.9 million and 24 positions over the past three years, and are now using reserve funding.

“We thought long and hard about it, and we thought this is our one option to try to stop that because we are just to the bone as far as cutting anymore,” Eckert said. “We don’t want to do that because it really goes against our mission.”

The college’s last referendum in 2002 was for $17.5 million, which paid for building expansions.

Eckert said they need this referendum to help continue to increase program options for students.