Tim Johnson, The Daily Nonpareil
The Iowa Western Community College Board of Trustees voted unanimously Monday to request a special election on a bond issue of $11.5 million to finance replacement of the steam heating system on the Council Bluffs Campus.
The election will be held on Dec. 4 in the counties the college serves, which include Adair, Adams, Audubon, Cass, Crawford, Fremont, Harrison, Mills, Monona, Montgomery, Page, Pottawattamie and Shelby Counties.
The board approved pursuing the referendum during its regular meeting last week based on an estimate from Ferris Engineering of Omaha but wanted to firm up the amount before having an official proposal drawn up. Since then, Iowa Western President Dan Kinney consulted another engineer, who gave an unofficial estimate within $200,000 of the first. On Tuesday, the board held a special meeting and took a final vote.
Kinney emphasized that the college is seeking approval of the bond issue because of necessity.
“We don’t have a choice,” he said. “I’m really concerned that we get through this winter.”
The college had the system checked after a steam pipe started leaking in March, and an engineer advised Kinney to have the aging system replaced. The campus has a total of 9,000 feet of steam pipes underground, and all but two links are approaching 45 years old.