VINTON – A yes vote by the Vinton city council last Thursday evening set in motion a pair of future developments within the city limits.
Council members approved a motion to enter a purchase agreement with the Iowa Board of Regents for the campus of the Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School (IBSSS). During a special session held earlier in the month, the council voted to move forwarded with a developer’s agreement with Hobart Historic Restoration. That agreement put in motion the beginning steps of the sale of the IBSSS campus once the City had purchased the property.
Chris Ward, Vinton city administrator, reminded council members and those present at the meeting that the city would be purchasing the property for $1.00. “From the actual purchase this will not have an effect on property taxes or utility rates,” Ward said.
The actual exchange of the property is expected to happen during the middle of August.
Vinton city officials were approached by the Iowa Board of Regents over three years ago with the proposal to purchase the campus for a $1. With students no longer attending the school, the Board of Regents made the offer to the city to take over ownership. Before making any decision, committees were formed to explore options of what could be done with the property before the City of Vinton took over the financial responsibilities of the campus.
With a location secured, the council voted to enter an agreement with Solum Lang Architects for the design of an emergency services facility, which would house the community’s fire and police departments along with the North Benton Ambulance service.
Plans call for the facility to be located on the southwest corner of the IBSSS property at the intersection of K Avenue and 13th Street.
Last September, members of the three groups met and interviewed several firms about designing the new facility. At that time, Solum Lang was the firm that the committee recommended be hired for the project.
Al Buck, Solum Lang, was at last week’s meeting to answer questions. “This is a unique building,” he told council members. “We have worked with emergency services in the past and have designed a number of fire stations. This is a first to have all three in one building.”
In the proposal submitted during the meeting, plans call for a building to be approximately 24,000 square feet, “and shall likely include eight apparatus bays for Fire, four bays for Police and four bays for Ambulance, support spaces and a joint Training Center,” it stated.
The estimated construction budget for the project is $6,000,000.
Interviewing a number of firms, “we felt Solum Lang could meet our needs and understood what we were looking for,” Charlie Garwood, Vinton Fire Chief, told council members at the meeting.
“We are excited to see what you come up,” Mayor Bud Maynard said.