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IVCCD Board take action on bond matters

T-R PHOTO BY JANINE ERMAN Kathleen Pink gives a presentation to the board of directors about actions regarding the $32 million general obligation bond.

The Iowa Valley Community College District Board of Directors passed two actions regarding the $32 million general obligation bond approved by voters in November.

First, at the regular Wednesday meeting, OPN Architects of Des Moines were approved as the firm to oversee bond projects by the board.

Chancellor Kristie Fisher told the board members that 11 firms were interested in the job and four were interviewed.

“We were extremely lucky,” Fisher said.

The reasons OPN was chosen, Fisher said, was the firm had worked on a lot of public projects.

“We talk a lot about using tax payer money effectively, to get the most for the value,” she said. “They were excited about all the potential in old buildings. Thrilled to be recommending OPN but I want you to know all the firms we interviewed were impressive.”

Kathleen Pink, the vice chancellor of district finance for the college said she received the contract from OPN on Wednesday.

“I have some follow-up questions with the architect,” Pink said. “We also sent it to our attorneys and have not heard back from them. We’re asking you to approve the contract pending the review by the attorney.”

She said the district always has the attorney review contracts.

The district sent out requests for architectural firms in December and 13 requested the board’s consideration. The full $32 million bond was also not advertised in the request for proposals, but was limited to $21 million so the college could include additional projects if desired.

Pink also asked the board to approve a resolution authorizing the issuance of the $32 million bond and levying a tax for the payment.

“What we’re asking for here is something new,” she said. “It’s nothing I have ever experienced. It’s nothing Barb has ever experienced so this is a new process for us.”

Pink said because of the timing of the certified budget and not issuing debt until after the levy year would start, she said she is asking the board to precertify the issuance of the bonds so the district can include the debt rate into this year’s levy.

“We’re not planning on issuing $32 right away,” she said. “We did some calculations based on some responses. We’re looking at maybe $15-$17 million. The reason the attorney asked for this is so it starts the ability to go up to the $32 million which is what the general obligation bond is for. So again, this is an approval for you guys that we are able to include the tax levy for this in our 20/21 certified budget.”

Pink said they are estimating the debt services for the fiscal year to be short of $4 million.

“That is the number we use to calculate what our levy rate would be,” she said.

Pink said the bonds would more than likely be issued in June or July.

In other business:

• The board learned about programs to engage the Latin, southeast Asian and Native American students at Marshalltown Community College. The presentation was given by provost Dr. Robin Lilienthal and academic advising specialist Valerie Ruiz. Board members were told there are 1,781 students enrolled for the 2020 spring semester. Of those, 331 are Hispanic; 45, Asian; 44, Native American; 48, African American; white, 952; and non-specified race, 692.

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Contact Lana Bradstream at 641-753-6611 or lbradstream@timesrepublican.com.