HJ - Former First Methodist Education Building

The Page County Board of Supervisors offered $92,500 to purchase the education building of the former First United Methodist Church in Clarinda during a meeting held Wednesday, Aug. 28, at the Page County Courthouse in Clarinda. The building is owned by Joe and Emily Akers of Clarinda. (Herald-Journal photo)

Meeting with Clarinda Community Preschool representative Lauren McNess Sept. 10, she told the Page County Board of Supervisors the school is not willing to move during a school year.

On Aug. 28, the supervisors made an offer of $92,500 to purchase the former First United Methodist Church education building in Clarinda where the preschool is held. The county is waiting to close on the transaction.

“It’s not feasible to not finish the year,” McNess said. “I would hate to move out in short notice.”

Supervisor Chuck Morris agreed.

“We have no desire pushing them out tomorrow,” he said.

The county is having the building inspected as it waits for approval of the purchase.

“There is a lot of discussion about what we should do,” said Supervisor Chuck Morris about the building. “But it’s premature until we own the building.”

Once approved, Page County intends on using the building for public health and 911. Public health is located in the third story of the courthouse in Clarinda, a space that is too small and not adequate for privacy according to department head Jessica Erdman. Page County’s 911 dispatch center is in the basement of the Clarinda police department at a cost of about $1,200 a month.

But the church building will need some remodeling for the county’s needs. Bathrooms will need some revisions and the building will need to meet handicap accessible standards including either an elevator or a chair lift. McNees informed the supervisors water was discovered in a room after Monday’s rains.

Page County Communications Director Kris Grebert told the board at least $150,000 would be needed to relocate 911 dispatch into the building. State emergency officials will also need a six-month advance notice.

McNess said she is uncertain of where the preschool would relocate knowing the preschool has certain building criteria to follow.

In other building news…

County Engineer J.D. King told the supervisors he would like to hold off on the building proposals for his department. The county has budgeted $625,000 to build an office space and storage garage for secondary roads but has not had successful bids. One bid for the office building was rejected because of a clerical error.

A second round of bids for the office building was rejected because they were much more than the county wanted to spend.

King told the supervisors he is interested in purchasing another motor grader as one is having some mechanical problems. King estimated an adequate motor grader would cost less than $300,000. The county is also researching the cost of repairing multiple weirs in rivers. King hopes to have more accurate cost estimates later in the month.

No action was taken.

Supervisor Jon Herzberg was not in attendance.

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