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ICCC board approves plan to refinance bonds

The Iowa Central Community College Board of Directors approved resolutions to refinance three bond issues for the school during its monthly board meeting Tuesday night.

“We are refunding some of our bonds,” said Angie Martin, Iowa Central vice president of business affairs. “Our revenue bonds, a Capitol Loan Note and our general obligation bonds.”

With bonds, “refunding” is the term used for refinancing the existing bond issues to achieve lower interest rates.

The Plant Fund General Obligation Capitol Loan Notes is for approximately $3,780,000. The General Obligation School Bonds is for $8,675,000. The Dormitory Revenue Bonds is for approximately $7,120,000.

The board approved all three resolutions and now the school will meet with the college’s financial advisers and the bond underwriters to finalize the new terms and interest rates before the refundings are complete.

Martin did not have an estimate of the savings the college would achieve through these refundings.

Also during the meeting, Tom Beneke, Iowa Central vice president of enrollment management, gave the board an update on the fall semester’s enrollment numbers.

While the final numbers for this semester are not available, the school has seen a slight decrease in students, but an increase in total credit hours, Beneke said.

“We’re up about a percent in credit hours so far,” he told the board. “So that is good news. We haven’t crunched all the numbers … but we were down just a smidge on the student side.”

Beneke said he wasn’t too worried about the decline in number of students because the increase in credit hours is where the school’s revenue comes from.

Iowa Central Community College President Dan Kinney gave an update on the new Last-Dollar Scholarship.

The Last-Dollar Scholarship is an initiative through Future Ready Iowa and is funded through the state. The scholarship is designed to work with other federal and state programs to completely cover the cost of tuition toward a certificate, associate degree or diploma in a high-demand field like nursing, industrial mechanics, carpentry and more.

Stacy Mentzer, Iowa Central vice president of instruction, told the board that in this first year of the Last-Dollar Scholarship, Iowa Central has 334 students receiving a total of $761,729 through this scholarship.

“It’s been a great program,” Kinney said.