HJ - Standard Page County Courthouse

A reversal of a motion that could have rejected the only bid received for a new building for Page County Secondary Roads turned into approving the bid.

During the Page County Board of Supervisors meeting Tuesday, May 21, supervisors approved the bid from Philip Robbins Construction of Coin for $259,749. That bid was for a new office measuring about 3,200 square feet for county engineer J.D. King including additional garage space.

Working with King, supervisors included $625,000 in the fiscal year 2020 budget for two buildings; an office space for King and a building to house equipment and materials that have been left outside. Supervisors favor King’s office at the secondary roads shop on East State Street in Clarinda. His office has been on West Washington Street. The fiscal year budget begins July 1.

Supervisor Chuck Morris initially made a motion to reject the only bid received, knowing other contractors had expressed interest in the project.

“How do we know (if it’s a good bid) if there are no other bids,” Morris said. He speculated if the bid was opened, and rejected, that would put that contractor at a competitive disadvantage should the county again try the bid procedure in the future.

“I’m uncomfortable with one bid,” Morris said.

King, who was in attendance, said he does not know why there was only one bid received, but feared another delay in the project. The building project has been a discussion topic for more than a year before it was included in the fiscal year 2020 budget.

“If we do this again it just pushes us down the road,” King said. “I can’t speculate why they didn’t bid,” he said about others who asked about the job.

Supervisor Jon Herzberg second Morris’ motion to reject the bid.

“How long can we wait,” asked supervisor chairman Alan Armstrong.

King said he has had one bid for past road-related projects and was under the guise supervisors wanted the building projects completed. Morris said he understood King’s comparison to road projects, and added the county does not have the same experience with bids for building projects of this size or cost.

Earlier this year after research, King said he had estimated the building in question to cost $250,000. Further discussion included King’s work and preparations for the building and bid process influenced the supervisors to unanimously veto Morris’ motion to reject the bid.

Herzberg then made a motion to accept and open the bid, which was second by Morris.

A start date for construction has not yet been determined. Page County will provide labor for demolition of buildings on the construction site on East State Street. Bid requirements state the approved contractor has 120 working days to finish the project.

County officials have not started the process to acquire bids for the storage building. King and supervisors did not know when that will begin.

In other supervisor news…

Approved use of the courthouse square for the annual Glenn Miller Festival which begins Thursday, June 6 with a free concert on the southwest corner of the courthouse lawn. Should it rain, the concert will be moved to Clarinda High School.

Approved county held tax sale certificate to Bryan Whipp as owner of a specific piece of property between South Ninth and South 10th streets in Clarinda. Supervisors also approved abating taxes and cancelling county held tax sale for a piece of property in Blanchard.

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