West Branch Community School District officials are hoping the second time is the charm for a $3.35 million HVAC renovation project needing voter approval.

The school board has set April 22 as the date to ask West Branch, Iowa, residents to OK a tax hike to fund new air-conditioning equipment at the city’s middle and high schools, the West Branch Times reported Wednesday.

The last vote on the project in September saw it fall about 3 percent shy of the supermajority approval required for raising taxes, the paper said.

That forced volunteers to collect 140 signatures on a petition for another vote. To improve chances for passage in April, they’ve formed Care for Kids to lobby residents on the issue.

The article noted that the cost for the project has gone up since voters were last asked. If it had been approved last fall, the HVAC work would have cost $3.2 million.

The full article is at www.westbranchtimes.com/article.php?id=2541.