New wall built at former Spectrum building further divides county supervisors

By Zach Jensen,

Another wall may have been built between some members of the Winneshiek County Board of Supervisors during Monday morning’s regular meeting, when one supervisor questioned others about a wall that was built in the new Community Services Building (formerly Spectrum) without the entire board’s knowledge or approval.

After the county’s purchase of the building last month, someone from Spectrum reportedly reached out to one of the supervisors to have a dividing wall built to separate space for the both Spectrum and the Northeast Iowa Area Agency on Aging (NEI3A). Because the non-load-bearing wall was so inexpensive, County Auditor Ben Steines said the expense didn’t require board approval.

Supervisor Co-Chair Mark Vick subsequently ordered the construction of the wall by Dave Hanson of Fixxit LLC of Decorah. The wall was completed in the last couple weeks, but Supervisor Shirley Vermace didn’t agree with Vick’s course of action.

“The only thing we’ve decided as a group is to purchase the building,” Vermace said during Monday’s discussion. “I haven’t seen a master plan. Is there a master plan developed by all key players here?”

“That’s what’s in process,” replied Supervisor Steve Kelsay. “We’re trying to determine what is needed.” 

“That’s an architecturally-designed building,” said Vermace. “I would hate to see us just randomly put up walls and dividers. As a county, we need to keep the aesthetics in mind, the capacity in mind, and there’s no master plan.”

Full article: April 11 Decorah Public Opinion Newspaper.

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