CAMANCHE — The fate of a new Camanche City Hall project is unknown after the City Council voted down the sole bid for the renovation of the old pharmacy building Tuesday night.
City administration and Mayor Ken Fahlbeck do not know what will happen now after a 3 to 2 vote of the council denied the $141,517 bid from Bob Edens. Councilmen William Wruck, Marvin Lind and Mike McManus voted against the bid and Paul Varner and Trevor Willis voted in favor of approving it.
“Now what,” City Clerk Sheryl Jindrich asked. “My opinion is I’m disappointed.”
Also disappointed was Edens, who spent $1,200 as well as time, on the bidding process. He told the council that if the project was re-bid, he would be at a disadvantage since his bid already has been announced.
“The unfortunate thing is my cards are laid out on the table,” Edens said.
Edens also added that as a resident of Camanche, he is now worried the city will simply sell the gutted building at a reduced rate. McManus said the building is not currently costing the city anything, but Edens and Jindrich disagreed, referencing utility and insurance costs.
City Administrator Tom Roth started the discussion on the project bid positively, explaining to the council that Edens hoped he could actually shave off almost 10 percent from his bid by making a few material changes. The $141,517 bid came in significantly lower than the city engineer’s estimate of $194,000. However, Fahlbeck doubted that all of these potential savings would actually be seen.
“I think it should be a well-thought-out decision,” Fahlbeck said.
Lind was not satisfied with the layout of the project, saying the city wasted a lot of money on the designing project. He pointed out that the specifications do not include the outside of the building and signage. He also raised concerns that the new council chambers will not fit many more people than the existing space.