The Des Moines Water Works board of trustees has decided to move forward with interviews for a new CEO for the utility.

During its virtual meeting Tuesday, the board heard from a consultant hired to help conduct the search, and received public comment. The board then went into a closed session, where it discussed the process for the search and some applicants for the position.

Before the board went into closed session, consultant Colin Baenziger said that after posting the job twice, 122 applications for the CEO position were received. He said the list was eventually narrowed to as many as eight that were described as a good fit for the job.

The decision to go into closed session was not unanimous, with board member Graham Gillette voting against the motion. “I think it’s inappropriate for us at this time to proceed with this search … when deaths from COVID-19 continue to increase, the number of cases continue to increase, not only in Iowa but nationally,” he said. “The future is very unstable … not only for this country and this state, but for the Des Moines Water Works in particular.”

Ted Corrigan, chief operating officer of the Des Moines Water Works, has been serving as interim CEO since Bill Stowe died last year.