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Bidding for Community Building deconstruction to go another round

August 1, 2018
By John Speer - Editor ( , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

The Toledo Community Building will await what is being termed "deconstruction" a little longer. Objection to the bidding process for the work by local contractor Loren Dostal during the Toledo City Council meeting Monday night, July 23, has prompted the Wieting Theatre Guild to alter course a bit.

"We utilized the list of deconstruction contractors and recommendations from local waste management to secure our current bids for our DNR application," a statement from the Guild received by The Chronicle on Friday read. "It is important to us to use local contractors but also people with experience in deconstruction to help us reach our goal. Since there is local interest, we will reopen the bid process."

A new bid form is expected to be ready by this Friday and a new process will then begin according to Denise Fletcher, Wieting Guild chair.

Article Photos

Official word was also received last week by The Chronicle from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources the Community Building deconstruction project has been awarded a $49,900 grant from the DNR Derelict Building Program.

The program is aimed at reducing materials going to landfills from deconstruction or renovation of public buildings in rural communities. Nine other Iowa cities received grants last week as well including nearby Albion to deconstruct a school and Brooklyn to renovate the opera house.

Dostal was seeking action by the Toledo City Council to re-open bidding which he charged had not been offered locally. "This stinks to high Heaven, I can't believe this happened," he said. "Local people want an opportunity to bid on it."

Dostal said he, his wife and others are Wieting Theatre volunteers and challenged if the out-of-town contractor hired would be "volunteering" to work at the community owned and operated theatre.

Back In City Hands

The City of Toledo temporarily re-took ownership of the Community Building for 60 days on July 9 to meet DNR regulations for the Derelict Building grant which requires city or county government ownership to qualify. The building had been sold to the Wieting Theatre trustees for a nominal one dollar in June, 2017, to pave the way for construction of an events center addition to the historic theatre.

The Council assumed no role in the bidding process for the deconstruction nor financial obligation City Attorney Mike Marquess said Monday. He said he agreed with Dostal the bidding process should have been opened locally.

It was noted the Wieting Committee spent 10 months getting the plan ready. Their Friday statement said, "The program allows a City or County to partner with a non-profit to complete projects. In this case the deconstruction is a small part of a big project. The Wieting administers the deconstruction project and partners with the City because the DNR funds must go through a City or County. The City will not have incurred any costs to deconstruct."

The new addition is part of a $1.3 million Phase II plan for the historic Wieting which also includes foundation, roof, backstage, curtain and sound improvements. A $1.4 million Phase I improvements projects was completed in 2012. Both have been led by Jim Roan as project manager assisted by grant writer Katherine Ollendieck.

The Community Building plan sparked some controversy when announced centering around the loss of the Senior Citizen Center and Mobile Meals site which had operated on the lower level.

There was also some objection voiced to the relocation of the City Clerk's Office from the downtown Community building to the Reining-Toledo Civic Center on the city's southwest side.



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