The Vinton City Council voted Thursday night to request a written proposal from the Iowa Board of Regents concerning the Regents’ offer to sell or lease the IBSSS property to the city.

The council discussed the issue and the Regents’ offer briefly with State. Rep. Dawn Pettengill.

“If they are serious about it they should be putting it out there for the public to see,” Pettengill told city leaders. “It is important for your budget and important to get this out in open before legislators go into session.”

City Administrator Chris Ward will write the letter, with input from Mayor John Watson and City Attorney Robert Fischer.

Ward agreet with Pettengill about the need to protect the Vinton city budget while proceeding with negotiations with the Regents about the IBSSS property.

“We have sewers to fix, streets to build and our citizens to take care of,” Ward said.

Ward said that so far, the city has received only verbal offers regarding the IBSSS campus from Regents’ representatives. The first offer was to sell it to Vinton for $1; the second a lease with the option to buy, Ward said.

Pettengill and Rep. Bobby Kaufmann, Chairman of the Iowa House Government Oversight Committee, recently wrote to a Regents legal representative, asking for the following information under the Iowa Open Records Law:

  1. Copies of all email and written correspondence regarding services for the blind in Iowa AND the Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School in Vinton, 1/2012 – 9/9/2016.
  2. Copies of all email and written correspondence regarding the Feasibility Study and Planning Committee from, 1/1/2012 – 9/9/2016.
  3. Copies of all email and written correspondence pertaining to the possible sale of the Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School in Vinton, 1/1/2012 – 9/9/2016.
  4. Copies of all email and written correspondence regarding possible uses for the Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School and campus in Vinton, 1/1/2012 – 9/9/2016.
  5. Copies of all email or written requests for renting or leasing portions of the Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School in Vinton, 1/1/2012 – 9/9/2016.
  6. Copies of all email and written correspondence with 270.10 in the subject or body of correspondence, 1/1/2012 – 9/9/2016.
  1. Copies of all email and written correspondence regarding regional outreach to the blind and visually impaired in Iowa, 1/1/11 – 9/9/2016.

The city has a Sept. 22 deadline for asking the Regents to put the issue on the agenda for their October meeting.