CENTERVILLE — The site plan for new dormitories on the Indian Hills Community College’s Centerville campus were rubber-stamped by the city council Monday.

A procedural hurdle was formally approved a day before the college and developers hosted a ceremonial groundbreaking at the site on Tuesday.

The development is a public-private partnership with local businesses that formed First Street Development, a real estate development organization. After hearing about the college’s need for more housing, the organization formed and came up with a solution.

First Street Development will construct apartment-style dormitories on the campus, and the college will make lease payments until they ultimately own the dorms.

The site plan fits with the current zoning of the land and includes two structures that will house 53 more students. They will be built on green space located to the west of the agricultural greenhouse structure on the campus.

In other action:

— The council was updated on the wastewater treatment plant project by Fox Engineering. The project works toward the long-term goal of consolidating wastewater treatment from two plants in the city to one.

The city is expecting to save $30,000 per year in utility costs by using solar power at the site. Capacity will double as part of the project, and bring the city toward compliance with regulations from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

The project will go to bids soon. It’s expected to cost around $9.5 million with a completion date of Nov. 15, 2022.

— A contract was awarded to local contractor TK Concrete Inc. for $268,282.40 as part of the proposed sidewalk and trail project in Centerville. The Iowa Department of Transportation is funding 75% of that amount, with a Wellmark grant covering the remaining 25%.

— The city will apply for financial assistance with the U.S. Department of Agriculture rural development for the purchase of a new fire truck. The total price is about $376,000 for a new pumper truck, and it would take about 18 months for delivery. The city is applying for up to $75,000 from the USDA to reduce the city’s cost. The truck will be financed from local option sales tax proceeds that are designated for fire capital.

Kyle Ocker is the editor of the Ottumwa Courier and the Oskaloosa Herald. He can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @Kyle_Ocker.


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Kyle Ocker is a Centerville native and award-winning multimedia journalist. Kyle is currently the president of the Iowa Freedom of Information Council and vice president of the Iowa Print Sports Writers Association.

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