County Reselling Extension Building Purchased In February

COLUMBUS – Due to issues with renovations, Platte County will be reselling a building that they purchased for $172,000 in February, following 4-2-1 vote.

The building at 2715 13th Street was closed on, in early February, for the purpose of housing the Platte County Extension offices and meeting rooms. The move was made in order to move them out of a cramped space in the basement of the courthouse.

Platte County Board Chairman Jerry Engdahl says when they were in the buying process, they had inspectors evaluate the building. Engdahl says they needed to renovate the basement in order to fit the needs of the extension office. Engdahl says after the purchase was completed, they were confronted with unexpected issues that needed to be fixed in the building.

“The building and grounds was given, not saying permission, they thought that they could do what they wanted to do, and then later after we bought the building we were told we couldn’t do that, without spending a lot of money,” says Board Chariman Jerry Engdahl.

Bids for renovations came in over $500,000.

“The extension office staff, and board, told us they were willing to stay in the basement of the courthouse, knowing there is no deadline or no plan, but we will keep looking,” says Engdahl.

Platte County Extension’s Jill Goedeken says there are a lot of factors that need to be flushed out before they can figure out where they can move too. Goedeken says this may seem like a set back to some, but says they are making progress in the right direction.

“Our progress in terms of having discussions about the needs of our office, and how much work we do in the community, have been very encouraging, and so we hope that in the future we are not always in the courthouse, but this project has been a great gateway to have conversations with our public officials, on the county board, in addition to some of our clientele and supporters,” says Goedeken.

Back in 2015, the board rejected a motion 5-2 to build a brand new extension building at Ag Park, that would use up to $700,000 in inheritance funds. The board then approved the purchase of the downtown building in November of 2016, before announcing they had officially closed on it, at the first February meeting.

Engdahl says he is unsure what path the board will take next, but says working with Ag Park is not out of the question. Engdahl says there are several options on the table, that the board will have to look at, moving forward.

Supervisors Hollie Olk and Thomas Martens voted against the motion to resell the building, while Jim Scow abstained. Supervisors Gerald Micek, Robert Lloyd, Jerry Engdahl, and Ron Pfeifer voted for the  motion to pass.

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