Scott Sattler, executive director of the Perry County Economic Development Authority, as part of his report at an April 20 meeting, informed the Perryville Board of Aldermen April 20 that a survey to study the area's future educational needs is now available.
The following day, Sattler issued a letter to Chamber members that the survey can now be accessed and encouraged individuals to complete. The deadline for doing so is Friday, May 7. A final report on the survey findings is scheduled for June 4, according to Sattler. For individuals who have questions about the survey, they are asked to email Karinda Barrett at email@example.com.
Sattler said they hope to get between 300 to 400 business surveys completed, at least 375 from the general public and 360 to 500 responses from high school students.
The study is being done to assess the need for workforce and technical higher education in the Great River area, according to Sattler. This region includes Perry, Cape Girardeau, Ste. Genevieve, Bollinger and Scott counties in Missouri and Jackson, Randolph and Union counties in Illinois.
“While the purpose of this survey is to generally determine workforce needs and demand in the area, one potential option to serve those needs is a community college in Cape Girardeau with a satellite in Perryville,” Sattler said.
The survey is the next step in the process, according to Rich Payne, chairman of the Committee for Affordable Technical Education. “We want and need everyone’s input,” Payne said.
In the state of Missouri, public community colleges receive their revenue from local property tax, student fees and state aid. A property tax would be expected to increase approximately 10 cents per $100 of assessed valuation, according to Sattler.
The initiative would have to sent to the voters for approval in a future election.
If this measure is approved, property taxes would increase about $100 a year on a home appraised at $100,000.
“As we strive to assess a clear understanding of current and expected needs in this area, your insight and feedback are critical to the success of this endeavor,” Sattler said.
Potential capital expenditures required during the first 10 years of operation are estimated to cost $5 million for Perryville and Cape Girardeau for buying or leasing the property.
According to a timeline the volunteers involved with the community college process are working with, the next step is to submit a proposal to the Department of Higher Education in the summer of 2021.
“We are continuing to work with others to see what solutions are available,” Payne said.