City right to aid Food Science Center effort

THE CITY IS ALWAYS in the business of investing in the future. Last week’s vote to designate $100,000 from the 2015 capital projects budget toward the Plymouth Educational Foundation’s fundraising effort for a new Food Science and Agriculture Center at Plymouth High School was yet another example of that.

It can be looked on as being the same as buying land for an industrial park, building roads to serve new businesses or extending city sewer and water to new developments - it’s an investment in fostering economic growth in the city.

The foundation has done an admirable job of raising funds for the $1 million center, having already passed the 80 percent mark in fundraising before the council acted to add another 10 percent to the total.

The partnership between the city and the school system builds on the earlier collaboration between the two - along with Lakeshore Technical College - on the LTC/PHS Science and Technology Center at the high school.

That effort, which also included a significant amount of private sector involvement, has proven greatly successful in training and preparing young people to fill needed positions in local industries and keep the economy strong.

Private sector investments have also fueled a significant portion of the fundraising effort for the proposed Food Science and Agriculture Center.

The new facility may not have as direct an impact on local industry and jobs as the

Science and Technology Center, but that’s not to say it won’t have a tremendous impact both for business and employment.

The economy of Plymouth and Sheboygan County has for long been dependent on agriculture and food science, whether it is growing and raising agricultural products and livestock, or processing those into food products for the retail and commercial market.

The new center will help Plymouth students learn the latest techniques in those areas, keeping students here on the cutting edge of that knowledge.

It will encourage innovation and new thinking in those areas that will help to keep local agriculture and industry stay ahead of their competition.

It will benefit high school students in a number of disciplines, not just food science and agriculture.

It will benefit the community as a whole in many ways as well, from community educations and gardens to training the future leaders of many of Plymouth’s major companies.

All of this can be done without adding to the school district’s property tax levy, without requiring district taxpayers to pay an additional penny of property taxes for the projects.

That adds up to a compelling argument for the city’s financial involvement to help make it a reality.

At issue:
Food Science and Ag Center
Bottom line:
Worth the city’s support

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