Page County Courthouse

(Clarinda) -- Page County officials are still in a fact-finding mode concerning a potential property purchase.

Recently, the county's board of supervisors bid $92,500 on the former Clarinda United Methodist Church's education building as a new location for numerous county departments. Supervisors Chair Alan Armstrong tells KMA News the board learned of the building's availability after another failed bidletting for construction of a new county engineer's office at the secondary roads complex in late August.

"As many of you know, we had made plans to build a new office space for our engineer and his staff," said Armstrong. "That bid came in about $220,000 more than what we were hoping it would. Therefore, we decided to put that on hold--which, therefore, put the transfer and move of the public health (office) on hold. On the same day we got the bids in for that, we also heard that there might be a building coming up for sale in Clarinda that might possibly serve our needs."

In addition to the county engineer's office, Armstrong says the building would house Page County Public Health and the county sanitarian's office. Armstrong says the building's upper floor would serve as the new location for the county's joint communications center.

"As many people know, now it's located in the basement of the police station--the city hall area there of Clarinda," he said. "Personally, I feel that would be wonderful to let those people who have been in the basement for the last few years be located upstairs where they can look out the window. Maybe on a day when a storm is brewing, they may not want to see that. They may not on a day when it's snowing. But, maybe they can understand why there's a lot of car wrecks if they can visibly see what the weather's doing."

One pending issue involves Clarinda's Preschool, which is still based in the education building. Discussion regarding the preschool took place at Tuesday's regular meeting. Armstrong says the county is exploring whether the preschool could remain at its current location for the time being.

"The preschool started the tail end of August, the first of September," said Armstrong. "We're trying to during this purchase period, gather information with the fire marshal, with the Department of Human Services that oversees the preschool, all of those agencies that have a piece of this, to make sure of what we can do, and what we will need to do to continue with the preschool until they have a new home. So, it's a little complicated."

Armstrong hopes the building's purchase will be finalized in October.