HJ - Standard Page County Courthouse

With plans for a proposed office building for secondary roads still without new bidders, Page County Board of Supervisors rejected all bids for a storage building for the same department.

“This whole thing is wrong,” said Supervisor Chuck Morris Tuesday, June 25 after motioning to reject the four bids submitted for the storage building. “It’s backward, backward, backward. It’s an organizational issue and we allowed that.”

Supervisor Jon Herzberg second Morris’ motion. The vote to reject the bids passed 2-1 as Supervisor Alan Armstrong voted to accept the bids.

Supervisors included $625,000 in the secondary roads fiscal year 2020 budget which begins July 1. The plan was to build a new office building for Engineer J.D. King at the county shop site on East State Street in Clarinda. A storage building, to house equipment and items that have been kept outside, was also part of that budget amount.

The county had received four bids for the storage building, ranging from $387,000 to $485,000. King said he was hoping to have the storage building cost about $350,000.

Morris said he isn’t convinced the building is needed.

“It’s a double-edge sword. We have to meet J.D.’s needs and we have to meet the taxpayers’ needs.” Morris said he has received several comments from residents who are concerned about the building proposal.

“I’m a data guy,” Morris told King who attended the meeting. “I need data to show it’s a benefit.” Morris said he does not have enough information to influence him the building is needed.

The plans for the storage building can be revised to lower cost, according to Tim Teig, a representative from Snyder and Associates engineering firm who was in attendance. The building can then rebid and a later date.

“There are good savings without totally compensating the building,” he said.

The lone bid for the office building was approved May 21, but rescinded two weeks later since the building’s plans were not approved by a state-licensed building engineer. Those blueprints have since been altered for better efficiency.

Supervisors prefer to have King’s office at the county shop site which would open up King’s office building on West Washington Street. Supervisors would like to move the county’s public health department into the West Washington Street location.

“Our goal was to get public health in the office by the end of the year. Now, that’s aggressive,” Morris said.

Part of the construction includes relocation of a natural gas line. King said he has met with Alliant Energy officials about responsibility and cost, which cost could be divided between the two entities.

In other supervisor news:

William Robertson of Clarinda was appointed to the county conservation board. He fills a vacancy created by Kevin Christensen who resigned. The term expires Dec. 31, 2020.

Supervisors approved removing Katy King from the conservation board because of a lack of meeting attendance. She began in January 2017. Officials will begin the search for a new member.

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