City steers clear of financial 'hole'

Carol Townsend

The Galva City Council on Oct. 27 rejected all nine bids received for a proposed new fire department/police station/ambulance garage to be built on the west side of the Galva City Administration Building.

“We can’t put the city in the hole a million dollars,” stated second ward Alderman Dougie Anderson.

The bids were:

Jensen Construction, Kewanee, $979,400; Hein Construction, Galesburg, $1,004,000; Swanson Construction, Bettendorf, Iowa, $1,072,731; Horan Construction, Peoria, $1,116,178; Bishop Brothers Inc., Peoria, $1,125,200; Frye Builders Inc., Muscatine, Iowa, $1,175,000; Cherrytree Companies Inc., Buda, $1,210,686 and RB Vetco, LLC, Pittsburgh, Pa., $1,286,000.

Anderson noted the current financial crunch, saying many Galva homes are worth less than their mortgage amounts. He said tax assessments are dropping and people are getting their homes re-assessed.

“We are in a financial crisis,” he said. “With EAV going down, with 100 cities talking of declaring bankruptcy, it is time to wheel in. It is too much to gamble and too much to risk.”

The bids were opened Oct. 23. It was reported at the last council meeting that the bids would be opened at Monday night’s council meeting.

Mayor Tom Hartman suggested that all bids be rejected. He did say, however, that the city can’t keep putting money into the police station. 

The council said the project could possibly be re-bid with some items cut out since the city had $750,000 budgeted for the project. 

In other business:

?Security cameras have been installed in Wiley Park, Veterans memorial Park, Washington Park and the municipal parking lot downtown. City Administrator David Dyer reported that the cameras cost the city $9,800 for all of the areas.

The cameras will help fight vandalism. The city recently paid an electrician $1,100 to repair  electrical work vandals had destroyed.

?The city signed an agreement with Black Hawk East College for buying salt from the city. The college will pay 10 percent more than Galva’s cost. Last year the college bought about 25 to 30 tons from the city.

?The council went into executive session to discuss real estate.

?Residents are reminded not to burn on asphalt roads and to only burn on burn days (Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, from sunup to sundown).