Page County Board of Supervisors reviewed an estimate Tuesday, Oct. 15 of $20,500 from HGM Associates of Omaha, Nebraska, to plan remodeling of the education building of the former First United Methodist Church in Clarinda.
In late August, the county offered $92,500 to purchase the two-story building with plans to convert it into office space for county departments. The sale has not yet closed. In September, county officials invited HGM representatives to inspect the building and create a possible plan for remodeling.
Auditor Melissa Wellhausen encouraged the supervisors to make sure the right plan is in place for the building before any work begins.
“We go 7,000 mph but we don’t know what the goal is,” she said about past, proposed building projects.
HGM had already informed the county the 8,000 square feet building is expected to have asbestos, a construction material that can cause health hazards when disturbed. Supervisors will research bids for asbestos removal.
“That is something they need to know up front,” she said about converting the building to county use. “We need to make some of these decisions first.”
A portion of the building is being used by Clarinda Community Preschool. County officials have met with preschool staff about if the preschool could still operate during remodeling or if remodeling would be so extensive it would force the preschool to relocate. The preschool does not want to move during the school year and is uncertain of where it would move to knowing buildings have certain guidelines to follow.
The county has suggested using the building for public health, 911 dispatch and for the county safety officer.
“We need to make some decisions, first,” Wellhausen said. “Figure out what you’re doing before you sign the contract (with HGM).”
No action was taken on HGM.
Morris visions the building being part of county operations well into the future.
“I vision this building to be there for a long time,” Morris said.
In other county news…
A public hearing regarding the county’s proposal for a wind turbine ordinance was originally scheduled for Oct. 15, but was mistakenly not placed on the agenda. The hearing was rescheduled to 9 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 29.
Despite not having the hearing, residents Keith Wagoner and Gary Davison told the supervisors their concerns with having wind turbines. Both residents asked about road condition and maintenance during construction of the turbines. Because of the turbines’ extremely heavy weight, it is common for road damage to occur during transportation of the parts to the work site.
Setback distances from properties were also discussed.
With the construction of wind turbines in northern Missouri, supervisors are expecting plans for turbines to be built in Page County in the future. Supervisors are to meet with a wind turbine company representative in November. Page County officials have reviewed ordinances from other Iowa counties that have them to create their own set of rules.
County Engineer J.D. King said the new culvert at Braddyville was open to traffic Friday, Oct. 11.
King is also planning reshaping portions of certain roads this fall because of their condition. Those roads are:
F Avenue (also known as M44) from 270th (J52) to Northboro;
Montgomery-Page Street from U.S. Highway 71 east to Willow Avenue then 2 miles south on Willow;
245th Street west of U.S. Highway 71 for 1.7 miles.