Johnson County Ready to Take Bids to Replace Fire-Damaged Building

By Gregg Hennigan, Reporter

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By Kayleigh Milas

IOWA CITY – Johnson County is closer to starting construction to replace a facility damaged by fire earlier this year.

The Board of Supervisors voted 5-0 Thursday to approve specifications and the cost estimate for a new Secondary Roads building. The county next month will seek bids from contractors interested in constructing the facility at the same site as the old one, 4810 Melrose Ave. West, Iowa City.

The old building, home to the department that oversees more than 900 miles of roads in the county, was damaged last March in a fire that also destroyed eight vehicles valued near or above $200,000 each and county records.

The new building is estimated to cost $3.7 million.

“We do have sticker shock,” board Chairwoman Janelle Rettig said. “I don’t think anyone’s particularly happy about how much this will cost.”
Insurance will cover a little less than $1 million of the cost, she said.

The new building, designed by Cedar Rapids-based Ament Inc., is to have 12 vehicle bays and another for servicing vehicles, the same number as the old building. They will be larger than in the previous structure, which was built in the 1960s.

The goal is to have the new building open by the end of next year, county engineer Greg Parker said.

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