The Buena Vista County Facilities Committee held a meeting on Tuesday to discuss what the county should do with the recently acquired Colorize building.
The county obtained the building last year for 340-thousand dollars after Auditor Sue Lloyd recommended that the county purchase the building with the idea of moving the auditor/election departments there. Last month, Board of Supervisors on a 3-2 vote approved a resolution to propose the sale of the building over concerns about the potential relocation of the auditor’s office, equipment, and which county departments might occupy the building.
Supervisors Kathy Croker and Rhonda Ringgenberg, who both voted in favor of selling the building, requested more information from the committee. Croker and Ringgenberg say they were both under the assumption that the building was purchased to determine the best possible use for it, and not necessarily for the auditor. Lloyd said the building was purchased in part so election equipment wouldn’t have to be kept downstairs at the courthouse due to safety concerns, or another solution is needed to solve that problem, which Ringgenberg agrees with. There was discussion on possible ways to make improvements in and around the courthouse to make it easier to store and move the equipment.
Elections Deputy Karla Ahrendsen urged the committee to continue focusing on election issues, regarding of what they decide to do with Colorize…(audio clip below :18 )
Ahrendsen pointed out that cages are now needed for election equipment due to new security requirements, and that’s made transportation more difficult. She said minimal redesign would be required for the Auditor’s office to move into the Colorize building.
Executive Director of Veterans Affairs LouisDeRoos said it would be beneficial to have ground-level access to his department…(audio clip below :25 )
Ahrendsen said not having ground-level access is an issue for voters at the courthouse as well. Public Health Administrator Julie Sather said it’s not feasible long-term for the VA office to operate again at the Richland Drive location, unless privacy issues are addressed. DeRoos said it will be beneficial to veterans and the county the sooner the VA office can get out of their current situation.
Buildings and Grounds Superintendent Joe Keller said there hadn’t been much talk among the committee on which departments might occupy the Colorize building if the auditor didn’t move there. Keller figures nearly 40-thousand dollars in construction costs would be required if multiple offices moved to the building. Keller said he’s working on concepts to move voting equipment more easily at the courthouse, and to add space.
The Board of Supervisors will revisit the matter and possibly take action at their meeting next Tuesday.