Conflicting opinions were on display regarding the future of the Jasper County Annex building the Nov. 21 board of supervisors meeting.
Chair Joe Brock addressed comments made at the previous meeting, when he was absent, by supervisor Doug Cupples. Cupples said he was in favor of the board moving forward with repairs on the annex building and housing the current departments in the basement following those repairs.
“I think we need to have some more discussion about, I apologize for being sick last week, I don’t know how this has turned into we’re staying at the annex building all of a sudden,” Brock said. “I support getting out of that basement but I don’t support moving back into that basement, I think that would be a big mistake.”
At the previous meeting, Cupples said he would like to start the process of repairing the annex building and moving employees in the basement to a temporarily location. Brock said he does not support anyone staying in the basement, even if repairs are made.
“It is a 100 year old building,” Brock said. “An old building in Iowa, being in the basement just doesn’t work. We ran into the same thing at the courthouse. We just abandoned it. We fixed it and then moved people out of there, it’s just not an environment (to work.)”
The process to fix the basement Cupples referred to is an extensive excavation and waterproofing process recommended by Shive-Hattery Engineering firm during a survey of the buildings exterior foundation. Also, during a mold study, Midwest Indoor Air Quality found mold spores in the basement and recommended remediation in the home care aide’s office. While no official cost was given for the mold remediation, to complete the excavation work the county is looking to spend more than $600,000.
“We need to go step by step, we need to go in with each thing we do, what it leads to. I think when we start to tear out some of the sheet rock, we will get more of a definitive answer,” Cupples said. “But these are things we need to do, we’ve been doing this for 11 months. I think that is what this process does. In the event that, we get out and we look at it and the money is too much, we look at other options.”
Brock held firm that he does not support people moving back into the basement and brought up the potential costs for repairs of the building, which in his opinion could top $1 million. Brock addressed supervisor Denny Carpenter about his assumption that Carpenter “didn’t want to put absolutely any more money into the annex.”
“We’ve pretty much run out of options now, Joe,” Carpenter said.
Brock said he is also still open to the possibility of leasing space as an alternative to the annex building.
“I’m not in support of sitting around and not getting it done for another year. I want to get it done and move forward,” Cupples said. “The temporary aspect, which can lead to permanent or can lead back to the other, but we have to realize the options have to be open.”
No action was taken by the supervisors regarding the annex building.
Contact Jamee A. Pierson at 641-792-3121 ext. 6534 or firstname.lastname@example.org