Completion of new maintenance building fulfills 18-year plan

Posted on: October 23, 2018, by :

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There’s just something about giant scissors that elicits smiles and laughter.

Surrounded by city employees and the maintenance staff who will make the facility at 801 N. 13th St. their workplace, Fort Calhoun Mayor Mitch Robinson dedicated the city’s new maintenance building at a ribbon-cutting ceremony Oct. 15 to everyone who made the project possible.

“A huge thank you to a previous city council and mayor,” Robinson said. “They had the foresight to do this. A lot of people did a lot of great things here.”

The City of Fort Calhoun began saving $34,000 a year for a new maintenance building in 2000. That money accumulated, and with the help from a little extra money from the city’s budget, Robinson, the current city council and many more city employees pushed the nearly 18-year-old plan to completion.

In September 2017, the city spent $75,000 to purchase land for the future building. On April 2, the city held a groundbreaking ceremony. Then, just over 13 months from when the project moved from idea to reality, the building stood complete.

Robinson officially opened the facility for business Oct. 15. Swinging open a pair of giant, bowtie-adorned scissors with both hands, he snipped the ribbon held by maintenance technicians Corban Helmandollar and Dan Kougias.

Inside, city employees and community members celebrated the completion of the nearly $570,000 building by munching down chips, warming their hands with a cup of coffee and filling up on hot dogs.

Community Coordinator Deb Sutherland offered what she called a five-minute tour as people entered. She showed a shop space, an office, a mechanical room and what might be the most important part of any building: the restroom.

“It’s a very nice building,” Robinson said. “The cost per square footage was pretty nice.”

Robinson said the city paid around $100 per square foot for the 6,225 square-foot building.

“Usually for something like this it’s $120,” Sutherland said.

Kougias said the staff, which began moving in last week, is happy their equipment will now be out of the rain.

“It’s a lot better than what we were working with before,” Kougias said.

The city previously kept its maintenance equipment in a small building across from the elementary school on Monroe Street. Some of the equipment had to be left outside because there wasn’t enough space inside.

Making the rounds before a city council meeting held in the new building, Robinson re-iterated his satisfaction with the structure.

“We have a great facility,” he said.

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