Monroe County Courthouse

Bids opened last week for the HVAC system at the Monroe County Courthouse came in too high and with the advice from their engineering firm, the Monroe County Board of Supervisors will ask for a rebid.

Monroe County Auditor Amanda Harlan said the county’s engineering firm opened a single bid for $760,000. The engineer’s estimate was $400,000.

“Our engineering firm thought that we may have missed potential bidders because of the time frame we set out,” said Harlan. “It may have been too narrow and some of the potential bidders may have already had their summer work already lined up.”

Harlan also presented to the board of supervisors a highly confidential “Department Heads Continuity of Operations Plan,” asked for from the county’s auditing firm and the state of Iowa.

Harlan said the plan lays out how the county’s various departments would function in the event of a natural disaster or some other calamity (tornado, flood, fire, etc.)

“They wanted to know where each department would go and how we would continue to operate if such an emergency presented itself,” said Harlan. “At our Safety Committee meeting, department heads used templates from other counties and other examples to set up different scenarios and plans to evacuate the courthouse.”

Because of the heightend confidentiality of the law center, Sheriff Dan Johnson did not even share his plan with other department heads. The board of supervisors can be brought into the know if they attend a safety committee meeting and go into closed session.

The plans were revealed to the county’s auditors who approved each plan.

The board also discussed a contract proposal from Rise Broad Band to provide internet and telephone service to the county. That story will be in Thursday’s Albia Union-Republican.

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