Superintendent Dr. Dale Crozier clarifies the true relationship between Alliant Energy and Eastern Allamakee Community School District

With recent announcements of job cuts at the Alliant Energy Lansing Generating Station due to the facility currently operating at lower capacity and unofficial stories circulating about pending closure of the facility, Eastern Allamakee Community School District (EACSD) Superintendent Dr. Dale Crozier outlined some facts clarifying what the impact of such a closure would be on the school district. Alliant Energy officials have previously stated that they regularly review their generation resources in order to operate their facilities in the best interests of their customers, but no decision has been made regarding the future of the Lansing Generating Station at this point in time.
Dr. Crozier’s released statement follows:

Eastern Allamakee Community Schools will not be affected at all if Alliant Energy would close; and there are facts that people should know about this:

1) If Alliant Energy closed it would not affect the operations of the school, and it would not cause the Eastern Allamakee School District to close. I like having Alliant, I hope it can stay open for a long time, and I have enjoyed the positive relationship that they bring to our community. The fact is, whether Alliant Energy stays open will not be any kind of a deciding factor to the school. This is because the amount of Iowa school district revenue a school district gets is based solely on enrollment, not property valuation.

2) The Iowa school equalization formula, which generates state aid, would cause the revenue we lose in the general fund from Alliant to be replaced. The school would lose no money in the general operating fund.

3) Eastern Allamakee is one of a handful of districts with a power plant. In each case the valuation towards the school is capped (by state action) at approximately 41 million dollars, which constitutes only about 18% of the district’s total valuation. Comparatively speaking, taxes in the school district are low. If Alliant closed, and nothing else changed, one would need to have a whole lot of personal value to even notice a tax increase. However, we have a plan to alleviate that as well.

4) At the EACS Business Office at Lansing, (business managers) Janet Heiderscheit and Marian Verdon have designed a plan, which I endorse, to create no change in school taxation due to Alliant closing (if Alliant closes). We currently have a bond payment that was set to be paid off in four years. We will now double-pay this with funds we either currently have or know we will get. This will cause our district to be debt-free (which is another plus).  We will plan to coincide this with the time that Alliant may close, and therefore create a zero-sum-gain effect.

5) School districts are financially driven by enrollment, not property valuation. Eastern Allamakee currently has a strong unspent balance, we have maintained our solvency, and there is no reason to panic. We must continue to be diligent and continue to find creative ways to maximize our resources.

The main necessity and goal of Eastern Allamakee is to maintain enrollment.  The largest loss of Alliant Energy to our community would be any economic development, and future families that might have had children. Our future task is finding ways to gain families who want to live and raise their children in a nice small town.

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